The environmental health and trading standards management team believe the provision of best value can only be achieved by unlocking our people's potential.
The team's shared values and vision have been developed through our concept of 'total service quality'. We have also employed a wide range of established quality models and tools.
Two examples relating to customer satisfaction are noteworthy. One involves the use of statistical process control to help us identify and deal with exceptional customer demand for our noise control service. The second is our innovative summer school, an annual event for our people that provides opportunities to stimulate the mind, body and senses.
1997 marked the beginning of a new era for the DSO in Derwentside. Two-year cumulative losses in excess of£750,000, mainstay contracts in jeopardy and the threat of a s19b notice faced the new director on his appointment in March.
Prioritisation of issues requiring urgent attention and recruitment of a new management team were carried out simultaneously. Although all members of the team apart from the director were existing employees of the DSO, none had been senior managers.
A£1 million improvement in performance turned the huge deficit into a£250,000 profit on a£14m turnover within 12 months.
The team decided not to resort to crisis management, but to build the management foundations and effect cultural change that will bring the DSO continued success.
Economic development in Knowsley is concentrated in one division in the planning and development department, but is a high priority and high profile activity for the council as a whole.
We have secured a significant improvement in our relationship with local businesses in that time. Partnership working with them has helped produce a climate conducive to new investment in the area, and to reinvestment by existing companies.
We have arrested decline and secured employment growth in the conurbation's biggest inland industrial area, and secured significant grant aid towards infrastructure provision, business and training support. In 1997/96 (Oct-Sept) alone we have been instrumental in creating 2,000 new jobs and securing£100 million of investment.
Newham's best value core management team was created in July 1997 to manage the best value process within a council which has undergone a transformation in attitude and direction in recent years.
Its achievements include constructing Newham's bid to become a pilot authority, succeeding as one of only seven 'all services' pilots. It has put a third of all services through best value evaluation to deliver 5% cost savings and proposals to secure a 10% increase in quality. The political process has been managed to encourage a consensus between members traditionally hostile to externalisation, local agreements with trades unions have been set up and innovative methods have been used to consult the public.
The customer help and information service area management team believes its entry is exceptional in that it chronicles the evolution of a management team over a 12-month period.
Our new service is pivotal in moving forward the highest priority of the council's recent organisational review to make it truly customer- focused.
The past 12 months have been among the most challenging in our careers, but also the most rewarding. We have been given the chance not only to change things, but to try new ideas and create new ways of delivering services.
We have had to bring together disparate human and physical resources, design and gain approval for a new structure, prioritise the service objectives and develop these into new ways of delivering improved front-line services, with limited resources and in a council with no overall political control.
Torfaen's corporate management team won the LGC award in 1997. It was commended for executive leadership across the transition to unitary status, and its ability to switch from the strategic to the operational level as necessary.
The team has not rested on these laurels. It has set and achieved more demanding standards for itself and the organisation.
The team's achievements rest on two major processes. First is the partnership between members and officers, and the broadening of the team to include a wider group of senior managers. Second, a very strong theme has been transparency and accountability. Everyone can see the focus on achieving the goals set for the organisation by the council.
Award sponsor - BT
'BT Local Government & Community Development is delighted to be sponsoring the Management Team of the Year Award for the third year running.
Demands on local government are continually growing and it is only through leadership and the highest standard of management that local government will be able to meet the challenges it faces.
The Management Team of the Year reflects the commitment and dedication shown by these people in delivering quality services to the public.
The Management Team of the Year rewards those that have had an impact on the local area, as the winner needs to demonstrate how the community it serves has benefited from its teamwork.
Working with local authorities for many years means BT has a real empathy for the challenges faced by local government and an in-depth knowledge of its marketplace.
BT can draw on this experience when working in partnership with councils, helping them to adapt the way they work to reflect the changing demands of the public.
The LGC Awards offer an ideal opportunity to reward some of the many achievements of local government and BT is delighted to be part of this.'
Don Jinks, Marketing manager, BT Local Government and Community Development.