Barking & Dagenham scoops top award

Barking & Dagenham LBC has been named Council of the Year at the LGC Awards 2018.

The council beat fellow London borough Southwark LBC to the prize, in what is considered the most hotly contested award of its kind in the sector. Southwark was highly commended by the judges.

Milton Keynes Council was named Digital Council of the Year in the awards. A full list of winners can be found here.

Commenting on the awards, LGC editor Nick Golding said: “The LGC Awards are about celebrating the people and organisations doing the most to ensure their area succeeds. These people are true innovators, who are dedicated to local public service and improving their local area despite austerity.

“All too often these bold and tireless public servants are denied the recognition they deserve by the government and national media. Even local residents may take the efforts of council workforces for granted – but bins get emptied, areas get regenerated, older people supported and vulnerable children get the care they need.

“All of these tasks are performed by a workforce motivated by pride in their area, battling to support their local population despite the loss of staff and brutal cuts.

“The LGC Awards are about giving these people their rightful place in the spotlight and thanking them for their great work for local populations.”


Story of success

In 2015, the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham set out on a bold and ambitious programme of strategic transformation.

Sitting at the bottom of every London league table, Barking & Dagenham knew that drastic change was needed if they wanted to improve services for residents well as realising its savings target of £63m by 2020.

The focus was not only on ‘doing things differently’ in the face of enduring austerity, but the critical need to adapt to the digital age against a backdrop of cost constraints.

Further information on its transformation can be found here.

The council has also successfully established an Insight Hub team that works closely with the leadership of the organisation.

Commenting on the award victory, Meena Kishinani, Transformation Director, Barking and Dagenham, said: “We have been on a big journey over the last three years, more of the same was never going to meet our financial challenges or deliver our vision for the residents and growth ambition for the borough.

“Our staff had given us a very clear mandate that said traditional incremental salami-slicing would not work. They told us to be bold and redefine what the local authority is for, what it can do and how it does it.

“As Director of Transformation, I am pleased to have supported the Administration and Chief Executive in translating their vision into a new way of working, implementing an innovative operating model that doesn’t just seek to address our financial challenges but is designed to be sustainable in the face of austerity and improve outcomes for all.

“We are not finished yet, and our journey and challenges will continue for years to come, but we are over the moon to have our efforts recognised with the LGC Council of the Year award.”

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