STOCKTON-on-Tees Borough Council has completed a hat-trick after being shortlisted for local government’s three most prestigious awards in 2017.
The Council is one of only six local authorities in the country – and the only in the north of England – to be shortlisted in the ‘Council of the Year’ category of the LGC (Local Government Chronicle) Awards.
This comes after being shortlisted in the equivalent categories in the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) and the Municipal Journal Achievement Awards.
Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “These are all hugely prestigious awards categories – the ‘Big Three’ in local government if you like – and to our knowledge, no local authority has ever been shortlisted for all three honours in the same year.
“It’s a truly remarkable achievement and another ringing endorsement of the way in which we have remained very ambitious for the Borough in the face of huge reductions to our finances.
“Despite this, we are still investing in the long-term future of the Borough, and in projects that enable us to generate income or savings – whether it be the new Hilton hotel, our street lighting replacement programme, or a new crematorium. We also continue to offer world-class events and enjoy high resident satisfaction with our services.
“This year has seen us make more progress in regenerating the Borough, our students achieve record GCSE results, Ofsted rank our children’s services among the best in the country, and the Care Quality Commission rate our Lanark Short Breaks Service ‘outstanding’.”
Chief Executive, Neil Schneider, added: “To reach the shortlist in all three of these awards categories in a single year is quite a feat and reflects the high standards we set ourselves in all that we do.
“We finished runner-up in the Municipal Journal awards and made the shortlist for APSE’s top award for the eighth year running. Now we are the only council in the north of England to be in contention for the LGC’s top award.
“It’s more deserved recognition for our staff, who continue to work extremely hard at a time of great challenge and uncertainty, and never lose sight of the fact that we’re here to serve our residents and businesses.
“But as always when we are in the running for these awards, it’s important for us to also acknowledge that we don’t always get things right and when that happens we always look closely at what we can do to improve.”
The other finalists are Ashford Borough Council, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Luton Borough Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council, and Southwark Council. The winner will be announced in March.
LGC editor Nick Golding said: “To be shortlisted for an LGC Award shows a council is among the country’s most innovative, and doing the most to support the needs of local residents as councils face continuing budget cuts. We should salute the council officers and councillors doing the most to ensure our vital public services thrive in the era of austerity.”