What is the LGBF?

The LGBF is a high-level benchmarking tool designed to support senior management teams and elected members to ask questions about key council services.

It reflects a commitment by SOLACE (Scotland) and COSLA to develop better measurement and comparable data as a catalyst for improving services, targeting resources to areas of greatest impact and enhancing public accountability.

The framework provides high-level ‘can openers’ which are designed to focus questions on why variations in cost and performance are occurring between similar councils. They do not supply the answers. That happens as councils engage with each other to ‘drill down’ and explore why these variations are happening.

The LGBF helps councils compare their performance against a suite of efficiency, output and outcome indicators that cover all areas of local government activity.  The framework now has 8 years of data.

Publication of the LGBF forms part of each council’s statutory requirements for public performance reporting, replacing the previous SPI regime.


The LGBF meets the high standards for statistical rigour set out in the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice.

Using and reporting on the LGBF

The LGBF is not an end in itself - it is how it is used within local planning, improvement, change management, scrutiny and reporting activities that matters.


Information within the LGBF should be interpreted against the strategic priorities being pursued by each council.  Scottish councils are democratically elected bodies which represent very diverse communities in terms of geography, population, deprivation levels and community needs. Councils across Scotland do not have common service structures. Each council has the structure and service arrangements that it believes are the most appropriate and cost effective to support its local community. Each council is therefore unlikely to place the same priority on every area covered by the LGBF.


The LGBF is just one tool in councils’ local intelligence ‘toolbox’, adding value through the comparative element it provides.


The LGBF is used alongside other appropriate local data to provide balanced Public Performance Reporting against the council’s strategic priorities/outcomes.  Local context in relation to how councils structure and deliver their services will be helpful to support meaningful interpretation.

View the list of indicators used in the LGBF

Outcomes tool

The Outcomes tool highlights the contribution council services play in improving outcomes, and links to the Community Planning Outcomes Profile to support the more strategic use of the LGBF in decision making and Public Performance Reporting.

Family Groups

Councils are arranged in ‘family groups’, so that we are comparing councils that are similar in terms of the type of population that they serve (e.g. relative deprivation and affluence) and the type of area in which they serve them (e.g. urban, semi-rural, rural). The point of comparing like with like is that this is more likely to lead to useful learning and improvement.

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solace scotland
improvement service