Several factors affect the way a service performs. It is necessary to be aware of these in order to understand why results may vary. Some factors are outwith the control of a service, for example, the level of deprivation and the mix between urban and rural settlements.
Other factors may be specific to a particular service or to the groups of people it serves. These local factors may mean that a council with a performance which, at first sight, appears to be worse than that of another has, in fact, done better given the circumstances it faces.