Council of the Year 2014 was announced last night at the 2014 LGC Awards.
Durham CC won the Council of the Year category at the 2014 LGC Awards, the biggest celebration of innovation and talent across British councils.
Durham beat Hackney LBC, Oldham MBC, Derby City Council, Staffordshire CC and Wakefield MDC to win the top accolade.
Judges were impressed by relations with local businesses, support for SMEs, real progress in community asset transfer and the contribution made to the wider area. This council has also made considerable efforts to engage the community.
Simon Henig (Lab), leader of Durham CC, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won Council of the Year. It is particularly gratifying as the authority has been in existence for less than five years.”
Highly commended in this category were Hackney LBC and Oldham MBC.
The ceremony was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Wednesday, 12 March featuring more than 80 organisations which had been shortlisted for their work to improve services. The awards were presented by comedian Rory Bremner.
Norwich City Council was recognised by the judges as the Most Improved Council.
The judges said the council had formed a strong partnership with a wide range of stakeholders and showed a compelling narrative of leadership improvement that has left it able to punch well above its weight.
Brenda Arthur (Lab), leader of Norwich City Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and it is thanks to the hard work and collaboration of members and officers.”
Thurrock Council was highly commended in the same category.
A record-breaking 640 entries were submitted for this year’s awards, demonstrating local government’s enthusiasm to share innovation and acknowledge the teams and individuals who make change happen.
The awards help to publicise best practice and the highest quality service provision across local government, encouraging councils to take on new ideas.
LGC editor Nick Golding said: “Projects such as Durham’s demonstrate the level of innovation in British local government today.
“Our judges were bowled over the quality of the entries. At a time when resources are scarce councils are innovating to ensure they provide residents with the best quality services.
“Local government’s depth of talent does not always get the recognition that it deserves.”
The full list of 2014 winners are:
Award: Business Transformation
Winner: Cheshire Fire and Rescue
Award: Campaign of the Year
Winner: Charnwood BC
Award: Children’s Services
Winner: Ealing LBC
Award: Community Involvement
Winner: Barnsley MBC
Award: Corporate Governance
Sponsor: Grant Thornton
Winner: Buckinghamshire CC
Award: Driving Growth
Winner: Hackney LBC
Supporter: National Audit Office
Winner: Derby City Council
Award: Energy Efficiency
Sponsor: DONG Energy
Winner: Nottingham City Council
Award: Health and Social Care
Winner: Lincolnshire CC, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Shine Mental Health Support Network
Winner: Merton LBC
Award: Innovation in Commissioning
Sponsor: Berwick Partners
Winner: Lancashire CC
Award: Most Innovative Service Delivery Model
Winner: South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Sheffield City Council, Stagecoach in Sheffield, First South Yorkshire, Sheffield Community Transport
Award: Public Health
Sponsor: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Winner: South Tyneside Council
Award: Public/Private Partnerships
Winner: Gloucestershire CC with Prospects
Award: Public/Public Partnerships
Winner: Westminster City Council, Hammersmith & Fulham LBC, Kensington & Chelsea RBC
Award: Public Public Partnerships – Editor’s Choice Award
Winner: Hackney LBC