Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Shortlist for new public sector awards scheme announced yesterday

Councils and their partners from across the country are going head to head in a new government scheme designed to find the public sector's brightest ideas.

Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton yesterday congratulated all the nominees who made it onto the independent advisory panel's shortlist following over 100 applications involving nearly 200 councils and their partners.

Expert assessors looked at all the applications and have now narrowed them down to a shortlist of just 22.

Shortlisted applicants for the new Local Innovation Awards had to demonstrate genuine collaboration, radically different ideas and leading edge practice when tackling the challenges their area faced to get nominated.

The winners, to be announced next March, will undertake a learning programme to teach others across the country how to improve their services. A £3m pot has been made available for the winning areas to set up pioneering schemes for spreading their winning ideas and best practice.

Rosie Winterton said:

"I want to congratulate all the areas nominated for making a shortlist that showcases some of the best talent and creativity in local government across the country.

"Now more than ever in today's economic climate we need our councils, and their partners, to be innovative and efficient in the way they provide local services.

"Every taxpayer's pound needs to work as hard as it can to deliver what local people need and it's important to recognise the best and brightest ideas different areas are coming up with. It's equally important that our best areas are sharing their skill and ideas with other local service providers.

"These awards are a great opportunity to recognise the ingenuity and achievements of councils and their partners and to teach every area across the country just how innovative local service providers can be. I wish everyone nominated the best of luck."

Dame Denise Platt, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Awards said:

"I am very pleased by the number and quality of applications in this the first year of the Local Innovation Awards scheme. We have seen such a diverse, creative range of innovative work from all over the country.

"For the first time we have introduced an award for innovative ideas from frontline staff, this is an award we hope to promote further in our second year.

"Councils, police and fire services and their partners are delivering real benefits for local people, communities and economies in such challenging times. Our motto was 'easy to enter but a challenge to win' and people have risen to the challenge!"

Four awards recognise major achievements in economic recovery, policing, social care and education:

  • the 'building economic resilience award' will go to the local area that has responded best to the current economic challenges and are preparing their communities for the future
  • the 'keeping children and young people safe in the community award' will go to the local area that has best engaged with children and young people, understood the risks they face and worked with them to protect the most vulnerable
  • the 'policing our communities together award' for the council, police and other partners for tackling crime and anti social behaviour including youth crime, road safety, burglary, littering and graffiti
  • the 'taking control of care - empowering adults to control their own care award' will go to the local area that has provided the best social care for adults with specific needs including how their care is delivered

A 'challenge' category will reward the most innovative authorities - with a shortlist of finalists having their approaches thoroughly road-tested by a panel of experts in the new year.

  • the 'achieving more through partnerships award' is for the local area that want to establish new partnership arrangements to provide or procure creative value for money solutions to providing local services such as open contracts.

There is also a category of individual awards for 'bright ideas' from front line delivery staff that relate to six thematic areas. These will be untested ideas or suggestions that show the potential to make real differences and deliver these ideas.

The 'Local Innovation Awards' is a new scheme starting this year for celebrating the achievements of local councils working together with police forces, fire services, schools, primary care trusts and other community partners.

The Awards replace the Beacon scheme and have been jointly designed by the Government, the Local Government Association Group - including the Improvement and Development Agency which will roll out the best practice across local government - and the local public sector.

The Government has set councils a target for £5.5m efficiency savings by 2011 and they are rethinking how important services are provided and working out how to make the most of every pound spent.

Notes to editors

1. The winners will be announced in March 2010 following a rigorous selection process. There will be a peer challenge and an assessment in front of judges for short-listed finalists, to be selected next month, for the challenge award and the Bright Ideas category.

2. The shortlist is as follows:

Challenge theme

Achieving more through partnerships (6)

Cheshire East
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services

Delivery themes

Building economic resilience (2)

Dacorum Borough Council
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Community safety: policing our communities together (4)

Cornwall County Council
London Borough of Croydon
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Sunderland City Council

Keeping children and young people safe in the community (1)

Northumberland Council

Taking control of care - empowering adults to control their own care (3)

London Borough of Richmond
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Bright Ideas

Achieving more through partnerships (2)

Northumberland Council - Strengthening families
Stoke-on-Trent City Council - Stay at home service

Building economic resilience (1)

Halton Borough Council

Tackling challenging community issues (1)

Wiltshire Council

Taking control of care (2)

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
Northumberland Council


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