Council’s frontline cleaning staff earn top UK Award

Aberdeen City Council’s Facilities Management Cleaning Service Team have won a prestigious national award after beating competition across the UK.

The frontline staff, who service more than 180 premises across the city, were noted as deserving winners of the top prize following the success of an ambitious transformation programme to provide high-quality services across the city.

In July 2015, staff took on the responsibility for cleaning the Council’s void properties and in that time have managed to get more than 2,000 homes back into use for tenants in no more than two to three days.

In recognition of the speed and high-quality of work the teams provide, they now also provide services externally to housing associations and other businesses across the city and in doing so generate income – with an aim to take in £100,000 this financial year as a result of their efforts.

The service also now operate a response system whereby members of the public can phone at the weekend to an out-of-hours service if they see areas within properties that need to be cleaned.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “This is fantastic news for all of our cleaning staff who, in spite of incredibly large workloads, have gone above and beyond to provide a valued service on behalf of our organisation to the people of Aberdeen.

“They have delivered change at the frontline at a very fast pace and in doing so have not only demonstrated excellence in public service, they have set standards to be followed by local authorities across the UK.

“Their hard work and commitment has meant that we are able to provide housing to those on our waiting lists much faster as well as ensuring our council tenants have a dry, warm home in a safe and enjoyable environment.

“They also maintain high standards in our schools, community centres, libraries, museums, sheltered housing complexes and customer service centres.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those teams involved in these projects and the many other projects that make a real difference to the frontline service we provide to our communities.”

The award was given by The Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) which recognise frontline services delivered to local communities, by local councils at a ceremony in Derry yesterday (08 September 2016).

A number of other transformation projects led by Aberdeen City Council were shortlisted for awards in recognition of the value they bring to the city.

The city’s £21million green transport Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project was 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 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.

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.