Pride all round on the Estuary
Council of the Year 2012. That’s us! It still gives us a buzz, even now.
I did a totally unscientific straw poll recently among some of my colleagues. What does being Council of the Year actually mean to you? The answers were fascinating, and inspiring.
The first thing my question elicited? On every occasion, a smile. Gentle and ruminative or big, broad and beaming, but a smile, every time.
The smiles echoed the ones I saw across the council when we won. The award was, from the moment we were given it, one recognising and owned by everyone in the organisation, and shared by our partners.
A single word dominated the answers to my straw poll - pride. Pride in our council, pride in what we do for our community, pride in what we have achieved so far. Pride, too, in the recognition accorded to our achievements, to all the hard work, to the improvement journey we have been on. An overt acknowledgement that you don’t have to be a big, or wealthy, or metropolitan or loud council to deliver, and be seen to deliver, consistently good, cost-effective, relevant and frequently innovative services with people who feel integral and valued.
For us, all this happens out on the Estuary, in Southend … and it’s been noticed!
Council of the Year is also a stimulus for the future. After all, we need to continue the journey to improve and innovate to survive and serve.
In Southend it has added a spring in everyone’s step, a wee fillip and spur to do better still, and a greater commitment to the council.
As one colleague put it: “Challenge? Bring it on!”
Southend-on-Sea BC, every last man and woman jack of us, is inordinately proud to be LGC Council of the Year 2012, and we’ll go on justifying it.
Rob Tinlin is chief executive, Southend-on-Sea BC
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