Prestigious national public services award win for Durham County Council

The North East’s largest council has scooped an honour at an annual awards ceremony which celebrates the work of public services.

Durham County Council won the Best Innovation or Demand Management Initiative Award at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards.

The trophy was presented by TV presenter Sian Lloyd and Nadira Hussain, of the Society for Innovation, Technology and Modernisation. The council was also shortlisted in a total of seven categories on the night.

Cllr James Rowlandson, the council’s Cabinet member for resources, investments and assets, said: “A huge well done to our staff for being shortlisted for seven awards at such a prestigious ceremony.

“It is great to see that we are improving the speed and effectiveness with which we can carry out repairs on our buildings and facilities, while also being able to maintain our high health and safety standards. This shows that we are constantly striving to be innovative and always improving on our practices.”

The council’s award submission focused on its mobile repairs system app, which has been developed in-house initially for the authority’s building repairs and maintenance teams. The longer-term aim is to roll out versions of the app across the council’s buildings and facilities management service.

The award recognised that the council has enhanced its service delivery through listening and adapting to the needs of customers, tradespeople and service managers.

The authority has also used the opportunity to further improve its excellent health and safety standards, streamline business processes, and also generate financial savings.

APSE promotes excellence in the delivery of frontline services to local communities around the UK.

Through the APSE network, more than 300 local authorities and organisations are able to share information and expertise on vital frontline services. They can also ask for advice and guidance, assistance to develop new initiatives and work together to find new ways to help one another.

The APSE Awards are specific to frontline services provided by local authorities. The awards are agreed by a panel of expert judges. This year, the ceremony included 22 categories, covering the vast majority of local services.

The council was also a finalist in the following categories:

  • Best Climate Action or Decarbonisation Initiative
  • Best Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Best Efficiency and Transformation Initiative
  • Best Service Team: Facilities Management and Building Cleaning Service
  • Best Service Team: Housing, Construction and Building Service
  • Overall Council of the Year in Service Delivery.