WLDC’s simply the best

West Lindsey District Council pick up the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Award.
West Lindsey District Council pick up the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Award.

A MAJOR prize has been scooped by West Lindsey District Council, which has won gold at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Awards 2012.

Six councils were selected as finalists for the Best Employee and Equality Initiative, but the council’s Workforce Transformation submission captured the eye of judges.

West Lindsey District Council was named the winner at an awards ceremony in Glasgow. The award was handed to the council leader and Market Rasen’s district councillor Burt Keimach by TV presenter Carol Smillie.

Coun Keimach said: “For the council to come first in the UK, from more than 300 councils overall, to scoop the Best Employment and Equality Initiative Award, is fantastic.

“To me this proves that the way we treat people who work for us is the right and proper way. I would like to give a salute to everyone involved.”

The award recognises the way the council managed roles within the authority to minimise cuts to service delivery. Officers and councillors have embraced the ‘entrepreneurial model’ and are keen to explore new ways of working for the benefit of local residents.

This has helped the council to avoid the level of service cuts other councils nationally have made.

APSE also recognised the successful formula in a recent article they published highlighting how other councils can avoid service cuts from this way of working.

Over the last two years a lot of work has gone into developing the positive values, cultural changes, empowering staff and the development of leadership and skills.

But for Coun Keimach there was an extra bonus to picking up the prize. He added: “The best part for me was that I got a kiss from Carole Smillie, who was presenting the awards.”

The APSE service awards are unique in the local government calendar because they reflect frontline service achievements ranging from refuse collection to council run leisure centres.

Speaking about the awards, APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien described the finalists as the ‘“elite” in the sector.

He said: “The winners of the APSE service awards 2012 are truly the gold medallists of local government. They have strived for excellence in service delivery and put in that extra effort to ensure that they deliver the very best in frontline services.”