The Town of Lockeport has come out on top in a new municipal report card on spending and services in Nova Scotia.

Lockeport received the top grade with a B from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in a survey to be released today.

The worst score in Nova Scotia goes to Annapolis Royal with D- and a rank of 47th.

The institute’s biggest finding is “how bad government is at letting people know what they’re up to, and how they’re doing,” said Charles Cirtwell, AIMS executive vice-president and co-author of the study.

The findings have taken the institute two years to collect and compile information on subjects like governance, police and fire service, taxation and recreation facilities.

“The information that we do have tells us that size pretty much doesn’t matter in terms of municipal performance. You can get highly effective, highly efficient municipal governments at a small size or big size or medium size,” said Mr. Cirtwell on Monday.

“No matter what municipality you live in in Nova Scotia you’re not too far off what the services are elsewhere. When someone in Sydney complains that they have remarkably higher taxes and getting less service for it, the gap isn’t as big as some people would like it to be,” said Mr. Cirtwell.

He said the focus of the study should not be on the grade each municipality receives. Hopefully, it will start a discussion among taxpayers about what people know and don’t know about their municipal governments.

“In terms of the overall findings, the Nova Scotia report card tells us basically what we expected to see, which is there’s a lot of gaps in terms of reporting and a lot of inconsistency,” he said.

Nova Scotia’s capital city ranked sixth overall with a grade of B-, he said.

AIMS, a Halifax-based think- tank, used provincial government numbers gathered from 2005 to 2007. Most of the municipalities refused to participate.

There are 55 municipalities in Nova Scotia but seven were not given a ranking because of missing information, he said.