Date: Thursday 29/03/12
Coventry City Council was last night crowned `Council of the Year’ at the annual iESE Award Ceremony at Church House, London.
The fully sponsored event, now in its third year, bought together councils from across the country to showcase their innovative and transforming ideas for frontline service delivery on the national stage.
Baroness Hanham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DCLG and Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Improvement Board were among guests who saw twelve awards being won.
Cllr Paul Bettison, Chairman of Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise, said:
“Coventry City Council’s ambitious transformation programme has achieved significant savings and service improvement. Councils across the country are dealing with severe cuts to their budgets and all are feeling the strain. Coventry’s drive for organisational change and efficiency savings show what a council can achieve when it strives to deliver more for less.
“The willingness and desire to transform public services was clear from every council nominated. Each one was able to demonstrate innovative ways of helping to change people’s lives for the better. Being able to showcase their achievements on a national stage will allow best practice to be shared across local government.”
The competition was open to councils, police and fire authorities and private and third sector organisations that help support local services. The first places in each category were:
Delivering through efficiency – Coventry City Council.
Coventry’s ABC programme, “a better Coventry for a bolder Coventry” is an ambitious, council-side, transformation programme that has achieved significant efficiency savings, service improvements, skills development and organisational change. Strategic partners, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), have strengthened in-house skills and brought constructive challenge and external expertise to the programme.
Connecting people – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Rotherham’s Isign Video Phone has enabled the council to increase access to services for deaf customers from 10 hours to 45 hours a week. Not only have inequalities between them and other customer groups been removed, the quality of the service has increased whilst costs have reduced.
Progress through transparency – Rotherham Borough Council
Rotherham’s innovative partnership with residential and nursing homes ‘Home from Home’, involves social care staff, Age UK and customer inspectors. Together they test standards against resident/relative/staff perceptions and CQC Key Lines of Regulatory Assessment. They also assess customer experience, contractual compliance and professional competence, allocating a Bronze, Silver or Gold rating.
Progress through innovation – Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council has pioneered a unique training environment where social workers involved in child protection gain hands-on experience in a ‘real life house’ scenario. This significantly enhances the confidence and skills of experienced professionals and new recruits alike and consequently has real potential to have a positive effect on children’s lives.
Working Together – Bracknell Forest Council
Bracknell Forest Council developed an innovative partnership with a number of organisations including Scottish and Southern Energy to deliver the ‘Thames Valley Vision’ project, which led to an award of £23m from Ofgem. The council played a fundamental role in ensuring that a complex technical project remained grounded and at the heart of its community.
Transformation in Social Care – ADASS London and JIP simple aids to daily life
ADASS London initiated the centrally managed roll out of the retail model for simple aids to daily living with all London boroughs. This involved joint working between health and social care and private equipment suppliers and capacity building with 275 private pharmacies and third sector bodies across the region. The project ensured that both local government funded and self-funding users had simple access to aids for daily living.
Transformation in Waste and Environment – Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
GMWDA is nearing the culmination of a construction programme creating state-of-the-art recycling facilities across Greater Manchester. The solution is delivering impressive benefits; maximising resources through diversion from landfill, reuse, recycling, composting and energy recovery as well as delivering environmental and social benefits through investment in the local community.
Encouraging Entrepreneurs – Guildford Borough Council
Guildford’s recycling and cleansing services income has grown 71% between 2005/6 and 2012/13. This is as a result of identifying customer needs and developing innovative new services, redesigning existing services, using innovative design and actively marketing collected material. The council has delivered highly valued and quality recycling and cleansing services for residents.
Transformation through technology – Trac-ID, Bentley Systems, 3m, Infotec
Intelligent Trench promotes safe working by ensuring workers have access to underground asset details before going on site and whilst on site. Knowing the exact location of buried apparatus ensures accurate excavation occurs. The danger of accidental strikes, which could injure or kill workers, is therefore reduced.
Fire Project of the Year – Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Mobile Incident Command Unit
Successfully tested in one of the largest fires since the second world war, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Mobile Incident Command Unit used best practice and cutting edge technology to deliver a first class mobile Command Support facility. The Unit integrates technologies to provide a common operational picture, communications and knowledge management in supporting operational decision making and effective incident command.
Police Project of the Year – Lincolnshire Police
Lincolnshire Police Authority had to save £19.7m from its budget. A nine month accelerated procurement process produced a contract securing over £28m savings, providing huge capital investment and transformation, potentially re-writing the blueprint on public sector procurement.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The main sponsor for the third iESE Awards was Cable and Wireless Worldwide.
2. Other sponsors included Mansell Balfour Beatty, Mace, Bam, Leadbitter group, Osbourne, Willmott Dixon, Morgan Sindell, Miller, Due North, Bevan Brittan and KS Agency.
3. iESE is a non-profit organisation set up, led and owned by councils. iESE helps local authorities improve and save money through efficiency savings. iESE is tried and trusted with a track record of £250m of efficiency savings over the past five years.