Hammersmith & Fulham LBC is LGC’s Council of the Year - praised by the judges for “doing something very special in challenging times”.
The tribute came at the climax of the annual awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
The judges’ citation for the Hammersmith & Fulham entry said: “This council is doing something very special in challenging times. The whole of local government is expected to deliver more for less but this organisation is a leader.
“With a very strong leader and a clear vision it is reducing council tax while improving services and resident satisfaction.”
The council’s chief executive Geoff Alltimes said it was a “fantastic achievement”.
He added: “This recognises not only the clear vision set by councillors but also the teamwork and passion that exists at Hammersmith & Fulham in delivering quality value-for-money services to our residents.”
Other winners included Hackney LBC with three awards (Children’s Services, Employee Engagement and Place of the Year) and Hull City Council (Most Improved Council and Public/Private Partnership).
Jules Pipe, mayor of Hackney, spoke of his pride in winning the first ever Place award, having picked up Most Improved Council last year.
“The award is a great recognition of the work the partners have put in to reduce crime by 40%, to raise GCSE results above the national average, to have the cleanest streets in London,” he said. “We have all pulled together to make Hackney a better place to live for its residents.”
There was also a lifetime achievement award for Sir Jeremy Beecham, a councillor in Newcastle since 1967 and until July the leader of the Labour group on the LGA.
LGC editor Emma Maier made the presentation - only the second time the award has been made in the history of the event.
She praised him for “his sustained commitment, tenacity, leadership, achievements locally and nationally, and his position as a forceful advocate for local democracy over the last 43 years.”
Other short-listed councils and the judges’ comments
Fenland: A clear emphasis on customer satisfaction has paid off: high levels of staff motivation shone through. Performance was impressive, particularly given some challenges faced in integrating parts of the BME and Polish communities. Regeneration activity is at a crucial time but the Council’s initiatives have made the District well-placed to benefit when the economy improves.
Hackney: After a meteoric rise, this council has undoubtedly achieved at the highest levels. While keeping council tax low it has invested in regenerating the area and in services, resulting in impressive improvements in resident satisfaction and performance.
Rushcliffe: Clearly a very good council with good performance and a range of good partnerships. We were impressed by the highly motivated and well trained staff and their record of delivering quality services, particularly the emphasis on ‘cleaner, greener’ street scenes. A very impressive borough.
Teignbridge: This council impressed with its clear direction and a strong chief executive who, has a very positive relationship with the leader. Work with young people and young offenders was particularly notable, as was the warmth and enthusiasm from staff and satisfaction among residents.
Wakefield: This council is brave and full of energy. In very difficult circumstances it is showing exceptional leadership, community focus and staff
- Hammersmith & Fulham will be speaking in the plenary sessions and delivering a workshop at the Socitm National Conference on 22 April. Marie Snelling, Assistant Director - Customer Transformation is leading pioneering work on a truly customer-focused approach to service delivery that will also achieve significant reductions in cost.