Aberdeen City Council shortlisted for ‘Council of the Year’ award

Aberdeen City Council has beaten other local authorities around the UK to be shortlisted for a UK-wide ‘Overall Council of the Year in Service Delivery’ Award.

This outstanding and unique award from The Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) recognises the best and most innovative local authority in the UK and focuses on delivery of frontline services.

The award seeks to celebrate councils which are achieving excellent results in a wide range of different service areas.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “This is a fantastic accolade to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award and beating other councils from across the UK.

“It’s such a testament to the hard work carried out by our frontline staff that so many of our services have made it to the shortlist, and now the ‘Council of the Year’ award.

“It’s also shows the achievements by our many community partners and the public who help us deliver these frontline services.”

Aberdeen City Council Finance, Policy and Resources convener Councillor Willie Young added: “We’re really proud that we have been able to do this through prudent financial management along with smarter economics, while at the same time ensuring frontline services are a priority.”

All of the finalists were required to present best practice case studies in at least four APSE Service Award categories in order to highlight their commitment to implementing innovative ideas that support continuous improvement and excellence in local services.

Paul O’Brien, APSE Chief Executive, said: “It is great to see local authorities across the UK performing so well, despite the pressures they are currently under and the challenges which frontline services face.

“This award is an excellent way of showing that their efforts are highly valued. I am delighted to support these councils as they continue to improve services for the public.”

A total of 25 organisations were eligible for the Overall Council of the Year 2016 category and to be eligible, entrants had to enter four or more submissions into the award from different categories. Only seven organisations were shortlisted for this year's Overall Council of the Year award.

The winner of the prestigious APSE Overall Council of the Year in Service Delivery Award 2016 will be announced in Derry/Londonderry at the APSE Annual Service Awards Charity Dinner on Thursday 8 September.

The finalists of the Overall Council of the Year Award 2016 are Aberdeen City Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, North Ayrshire Council, Nottingham City Council, Oxford City Council, Peterborough City Council, and Stockton on Tees Borough Council.

Staff at Aberdeen City Council have been shortlisted for in five categories for their innovative approaches to community empowerment, renewable energy, service delivery, and support for the homeless.

The Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) has shortlisted the City Council projects for its prestigious UK-wide awards which recognise frontline services delivered to local communities, by local councils.

The city’s £21million green transport Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has been shortlisted for two awards in the Best Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Initiative and Best Public/Private Partnership Working Initiative categories.

Community outreach programme Northfield Total Place has also reached the finals in the Best Community and Neighbourhood initiative category in recognition of the work being done to engage with the community, develop resources and empower residents to achieve their full potential.

The project has helped to identify community champions who are now key to shaping change in the area, has helped to deliver a rounded events and activity calendar for families and young people and raised the overall health and wellbeing of those who participate.

Aberdeen City Council’s Facilities Management Cleaning Service team has been shortlisted in the Best Service Team: Building Cleaning and Facilities Management Service category for its new and improved customer service model which has helped to attract more cleaning contracts while there are increasing budget constraints.

The Cleaning Service is now generating extra income which has safeguarded jobs while developing and upskilling staff, and delivering best value for the customer.

Shortlisted in the Best Innovation or Demand Management category was Aberdeen City Council’s multi-million pound homeless centre project at 80 West North Street.

The scheme, which provides 40 flats and bedsits for the homeless, allows the council’s Housing Support Services to work closely with people who have a range of underlying issues to address and help prepare them so that they are ready to keep a tenancy.

There were more than 320 submissions for the APSE Service Awards 2016, entered by over 100 organisations in 21 submission categories.