Coventry City Council has been shortlisted in the ‘Council of the Year’ category for the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards 2019.
The annual LGC Awards recognise excellence in the public sector.
Judges said it had been a tough task to pick the shortlist for the Council of the Year award, commending the high quality of entries and described being shortlisted as a ‘fantastic achievement’.
The prestigious award is presented to a council which has demonstrated a ‘level of excellence and innovation that takes its work well beyond basic service provision’.
Judges are looking for a council that has had a sustained high level of performance that could act as a model for others. Coventry has been shortlisted along with Cheshire West and Chester, Cornwall, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and Wigan.
Coventry’s submission highlighted recent successes in partnership working, including securing the titles of UK City of Culture 2021, European City of Sport 2019 and a host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The entry told how the Council had changed the way it provides services such as libraries and youth provision through working with the public and local groups, revolutionising the way it works to cope with unprecedented budget cuts and the need to protect frontline services.
Council Leader Cllr George Duggins said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.
“It recognises the hard work of staff around the Council and the way we have worked with partners and residents to continue to provide quality services and balanced budgets even at a time of severe budget cuts from central government.
“Partnership working also helped us secure new investment and jobs for our city, including being selected through the £80m Faraday Challenge as the home of a new Battery Industrialisation Centre that will further cement our role as a world leader in low emission vehicles and driverless technologies.
“These are very tough times for councils around the country and to be shortlisted shows that our brave decisions and our forward planning has put us in a very good position for the future.
“We look forward to welcoming the judges to Coventry so we can show them some of our exciting plans for the future and how our Council and our city are changing to meet the challenges ahead.”
Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, added: “This is great news, not just for the Council, but for the city.
“Coventry is really hitting the national and international stage with titles such as UK City of Culture 2021 and European City of Sport 2019, and to be shortlisted in a competition that attracts entries from the biggest and the best around the country, is a further vote of confidence in the city.”
The entry also stressed how the Council is working with local industry to secure new investment and jobs; reshaping the city centre; improving Children’s Services; and working to keep people healthy and active.
The Council’s work to make more services available online and modernise the way it works was also highlighted, along with the opening of the new offices at Friargate and a new Customer Service Centre in the heart of the city.
The next stage of the awards will see the Council visited by members of the judging panel before Council officials have to give a presentation in London in the New Year. The winner will be announced in March 2019.