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Council of the year

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sponsored by Zurich Municipal

Town hall sign

Town hall sign

Cheshire West & Chester Council

Cheshire West & Chester Council is committed to bringing about positive and lasting change, guided by the difference that its communities want to see in their everyday lives. Helping the Borough Thrive was developed with residents, and sets out the council’s plan to support thriving residents, thriving communities and a thriving council. Its budget is fully aligned to its 10 co-produced priorities, ensuring that it is continually investing in them. Underpinned by a transformed council workforce, this is resulting in tangible, positive, long-lasting outcomes.


Cornwall Council

April will mark 10 years since Cornwall Council was formed, with 2017-18 proving to be a high watermark of achievement both in terms of scale and sustainability. The council’s corporate peer challenge, undertaken in December, stands as independent evidence of its success and underscores its commitment to sector-led improvement. Now in its third four-year term, and with a new leader and cabinet elected in May, the council is regarded as one of the vanguards of local government, shown by its innovative and award-winning approach to ‘double devolution’, which is reconfiguring the delivery of public services.


Coventry City Council

Coventry has a history of reinventing itself and over the past year it has taken it to a new level. It has attracted millions in investment for redevelopment and industry, transformed services, rationalised its office space and improved education standards. Moreover, the city will be UK City of Culture 2021, meaning it will be on a national and international stage like never before. This has all been achieved against a backdrop of unprecedented budget cuts and a workforce reduced by a third. Its partnership approach and passion for creating opportunities for people to lead healthy, prosperous and happy lives has made this possible.


Hull City Council

With a clear understanding of its people, its place, and the priorities needed to develop resilient communities, Hull City Council is a hugely ambitious organisation with an impressive track record of delivery. The council has led the way with unprecedented economic investment of £3bn and growth of £5.5bn in gross value added. The delivery of the game-changing UK City of Culture designation during 2017-18 raised its own aspirations, defied expectations and challenged perceptions, while leading to more than six million visits. This was at the same time as being the third most deprived local authority and delivering financial savings of £131m between 2010 and 2020.


North East Lincolnshire Council

Who says councils should be making efficiency savings or cutting services? North East Lincolnshire Council is handling increasing social pressures and decreasing budgets differently. To bring its ambitious Stronger Economy, Stronger Communities vision alive, it has ripped up the rule book and is rewriting it by doing more and achieving more while spending less. To do this, it is not just focusing on now or on quick wins during its current tenure. It is focusing on the long-term changes its residents, businesses and economy need to thrive.


Wigan MBC

Next year will mark five years since Wigan MBC launched its strategy to transform council services – The Deal. In that time the council has reinvented its relationship with residents, saving £130m while increasing resident satisfaction. The deal has reduced demand in children’s social services and adult social care, enabled staff to have different conversations that focus on strengths and driven integration across health and social care. A Local Government Association peer review declared it as “one of, if not the best example of changing the local citizen-state relationship”.


Zurich logo

Zurich logo

A word from the award’s sponor

Zurich Municipal is particularly proud to support the Council of the Year award in 2019 as we know how much time, effort and teamwork all the entrants must put in. When local authorities realise their vision for positive change, the benefits are felt by thousands, if not millions, of people. This means everybody wins. For more information visit



John Barradell, town clerk and chief executive, City of London Corporation

Dawn Baxendale, chief executive, Birmingham City Council

Sandra Dinneen, former chief executive, South Norfolk Council

Carolyn Downs, chief executive, Brent LBC

Andrew Jepp, managing director, Zurich Municipal

Joanna Killian, chief executive, Surrey CC

Mark Lloyd, chief executive, Local Government Association

Steven Pleasant, chief executive, Tameside MBC, and accountable officer, Tameside and Glossop CCG

Geoff Raw, chief executive, Brighton & Hove City Council

Joanne Roney, chief executive, Manchester City Council




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