24/04/2017 - Permalink

Shropshire Council finalists in prestigious local government awards

Related topics: Adult services / Community / Highways and environmental maintenance / My area

Shropshire Council is in the running for several prestigious awards after being named as finalists in the national Municipal Journal (MJ) Achievement Awards 2017.

logo for acheivement awards run by MJ

MJ Achievement Awards 2017 logo

The MJ Achievement Awards, organised by the national magazine about management issues affecting local government, is one of the major events in the public sector calendar. The competition was open to all 418 councils in UK, whereby councils could submit applications for up to 14 categories.

Each category is judged by influential commentators from the private and public sectors, giving councils the chance to highlight their ability, ingenuity and performance.

The council has been shortlisted for three of the six submissions they had entered. Shortlisted nominations are:

  • Highways’ Streetworks team (Best Council Services Team category)

For their work on looking after the county’s entire network of around 5,150 km of road. As one of the most visible, used assets, the roads need constant maintenance. This is a particular challenge as money gets tighter and people’s expectations increase. The team has successfully risen to this challenge by implementing new, innovative legislation and working practices.

The team faces competition from Aberdeen City Council, Birmingham City Council T/A Cityserve, Ealing Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Harrow Council.

  • Adult services’ Making it Real in Shropshire partnership (Excellence in Community Engagement category).

Shropshire’s Making it Real partnership was set up by Shropshire Council in response to the national ‘Think Local Act Personal’ initiative and Making it Real Framework. The aim of ‘Making it Real’ is for personalisation to be a reality for people who use adult social care services. This approach is driven through a series of ‘I’ statements outlining how adult social care should best meet people’s needs; enabling people to live full and independent lives. The partnership works with the local authority to ensure this approach is adopted locally, through influencing and shaping adult social care services in Shropshire.

The team will be up against Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, City and County of Swansea, Durham County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council.

  • Adult services’ new e-Brokerage system (Reinventing Public Services category)

For designing a new online brokerage model to tackle issues within the care market such as costly hourly rates and availability of care. These issues were addressed for us to have a well-developed and sustainable care market to cope with the ever-increasing level of demand. Shropshire Choices’ Brokerage model encourages providers to be more proactive in coming forward with their offers of care, by providing an online market place. They can view demand across the county and compete for packages; individuals seeking support receive a better and more cost effective care package, and the provider secures more business.

The team will be competing against London Borough of Camden – London Sexual Health Transformation Programme, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council and CCG and West London Alliance.

Shropshire Council is the only council in the West Midlands to have been shortlisted for both the Excellence in Community Engagement and Reinventing Public Services categories.

Clive Wright, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that we have been selected as finalists for such a prestigious award.

“This not only allows us to be recognised for the delivery of our services over the last 12 months but also provides our staff with the recognition they deserve, on a national scale. This accolade also gives us the opportunity to promote our achievements and to share our expertise with our peers.

“I am so proud in what all our services have achieved over the last year. We continue to ensure local residents are at the heart of what we do through innovation and ingenuity, often in the face of budget and resource cuts.

“I’d like to wish our teams the very best of luck at the finals in June.”

Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s director of adult services, added:

“This is fantastic news! The MJ Achievement Awards provide a valuable opportunity to highlight and share examples of good practice and I am thrilled that we have been shortlisted for two adult social care services for this year’s award. Over the past few years, we have challenged ourselves to find innovative ways of improving services and the results have been encouraging for me as director and for those who use our services.”

George Candler, Shropshire Council’s director of place and enterprise, said:

“I am very proud of our streetworks team and what they’ve achieved. Being the first rural authority to be given approval by the Department for Transport to become a permitting authority is no mean feat. This has been down to the hard work and dedication of our staff.”

Having now been shortlisted, all finalists will give a presentation to a panel of council chief executives who will decide on the winner. The winning councils will be announced at the grand final in London on Thursday 15 June 2017.

For more information about the awards visit https://awards.themj.co.uk/.

Further information

There are 14 categories for the MJ Achievement Awards 2017. These are:

  • Behaviour Change
  • Best Council Services Team
  • Commercialism in the Property Estate
  • Innovation in Finance
  • Local Authority of the Year
  • Delivering Better Outcomes
  • Excellence in Community Engagement
  • Excellence in Governance and Scrutiny
  • Impact and Learning in Children’s Services
  • Legal Services
  • Most Improved Council
  • Reinventing Public Services
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Workforce Transformation

What the judges will be looking for:-

Best Council Services Team Category

This category seeks entries from local authority service teams who have showed creativity and innovation in their service provision with a clear outcome in an improved service to residents and proven satisfaction despite budget constraints.

Judges will be looking for evidence of leadership in addressing the challenges facing council services whether through reduced budgets, rising demand or implementation of new legislation. They will seek examples of creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation in overcoming these challenges to ensure residents receive an improved service. They will need examples of increased customer satisfaction or evidence that planned outcomes have been met.

Excellence in Community Engagement

This award recognises excellence in community engagement by a council or a council department.  Submission for this award should clearly demonstrate that the council or department has engaged with residents and the local community to improve customer services to the highest level.  The judges are looking for evidence of initiatives which have actively encouraged participation from the local community, from beginning to end, and are providing sustainable, long-term benefits for the wider community.

Reinventing Public Services Category

Local government have been dealing with the effects of budget reductions for many years now. Fundamental change in how public services are delivered is now a necessity and the very basis and model of public services has to change.

Delivering efficiencies, increasing fees and charges, reducing staff and trimming around the edges will simply no longer provide a lifeline – local authorities will have no option but to undertake fundamental, wholescale reinvention to maintain the services people value.

Local authorities are transforming in whole or in part across the country and redefining the role of public services.