The MJ Achievement Awards Finalists for 2022

Read the full 2022 Finalists Brochure here.

Best Council Services Team

The frontline services that Council’s provide keep communities functioning on a daily basis. They are the most visible face of their local authority, whether they are housing, school meals, building cleaning, homecare, sports and leisure, refuse collection, street cleansing, recycling, transport, highways maintenance or street lighting. This category seeks entries from local authority service teams who have showed creativity and innovation in their service provision with a clear outcome in an improved service to residents and proven satisfaction despite budget constraints. 
Judges will be looking for evidence of leadership in addressing the challenges facing Council services whether through reduced budgets, rising demand or implementation of new legislation. They will seek examples of creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation in overcoming these challenges to ensure residents receive an improved service. They will need examples of increased customer satisfaction or evidence that planned outcomes have been met.

 Sponsored by:

City of Wolverhampton Council, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Travel Unit

Lancaster City Council, Community Involvement and Leisure Service

Newcastle City Council, Digital Falls Prevention in Reablement

London Borough of Enfield, Enfield Catering Services

London Borough of Redbridge, Planning Service: Best Council Service

Kent County Council, Reconnect Kent

Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Hillingdon, Waste Team

Best EV Charging Project

Local authorities are energetically supporting the switch to EV as part of their decarbonisation strategies. Installing public charging infrastructure is a good example, enabling drivers to charge their cars within their daily routine, and serving the 30% of people who don’t have access to off-street parking and charging facilities. Judges will be looking for entries showing innovative projects that have increased the availability of EV charge points, promoted wider EV adoption across society, and stimulated the local economy.

Sponsored by:

Dundee City Council, Fleet Section

North Northants Council, North Northants Council leads the charge on-street EV infrastructure

South Lanarkshire Council & North Lanarkshire Council, Project PACE

Durham County Council, SOSCI project

Royal London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

London Borough of Waltham Forest, Waltham Forest's EV Charging Point Strategy

Best Social Housing Initiative

Housing has been in the headlines the past year but one of the major controversies has been over whether local authorities should have more financial powers to build their own social housing. In fact many innovative local authorities have already been developing ways of providing housing for their less well-off citizens. This category invites entries showing interesting and innovative social housing projects with clear outcomes.

Sponsored by:

Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council

Blackpool Council

London Borough of Enfield

Carmarthenshire County Council, Housing Independence Project (HIP)

Reading Borough Council, Modular homes for rough sleepers

London Borough of Southwark

City of Wolverhampton Council, The Wolverhampton House Project

Derbyshire Dales District Council, Working with small social housing providers to deliver new homes, renovate and retrofit hard to treat homes

Care and Health Integration

Integrating health and social care has been a real challenge for local authorities and health trusts but there have been examples of highly successful initiatives. This category invites entries from local authorities and health partners which can display imagination and innovation in bringing together – at whatever scale – care and health services under one roof to the benefit of the user.

Judges will be looking for innovative examples of integration which can display proven benefits to users as well as a more efficient use of both health and social care resources.

 Sponsored by:

Carmarthenshire County Council, Delta CONNECT

Essex County Council, Connect - Transforming Health and Care Services in Essex

North Lanarkshire Council, Improving Healthcare for Adults and Older People Living in Care Homes in Lanarkshire

South Norfolk and Broadland Councils, South Norfolk & Broadland Help Hub

St Helens Borough Council and NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group, St Helens Cares - resilient collaboration in St Helens

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Home and Community Support Team

Wigan Council – Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Chief Executive of the Year

In this category judges are looking for chief executives who have displayed outstanding leadership, innovation, determination and commitment to their authorities and their communities. They will be interested in examples of challenges that chief executives have tackled and surmounted over and above the day-to-day problems of the job. The size or type of authority is immaterial. What is important are the achievements of the individual. Chief executives are welcome to enter themselves but we also urge council leaders and other members of the senior management team or Cabinet to enter on their behalf. 

Sponsored by:

North Kesteven District Council, Ian Fytche

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Barry Quirk

South Kesteven District Council, Karen Bradford

London Borough of Southwark, Eleanor Kelly

Warwickshire County Council, Monica Fogarty

Westminster City Council, Stuart Love

Community Heroes

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the very best in public services, with frontline workers across the country going far above and beyond their duties. There have been thousands of local government community heroes across the country, and now we are looking for the individuals and teams that have really shone.

Sponsored by:

Derby City Council, SafeSpace Community Paramedic - Tracy Cunningham

Gedling Borough Council, Richard Herrod Centre Humanitarian Response

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Community Champions

New Forest District Council, Neville Penman

Slough Borough Council, Kam Birdie - covid community response

South Gloucestershire Council, The HandyVan Heroes/Andy Porter

South Norfolk & Broadland Councils, Ketteringham Depot

Corporate Director of the Year

Category overview:

Members of the chief officer, or corporate management team, are a vital support for the chief executive and elected members and to the efficient running of the authority. This category recognises this important role and welcomes examples of strategic leadership above and beyond, ingenuity, results, values, motivational abilities and leadership in disruption as seen by citizens, partners, staff, politicians and peers.  Entries should be submitted by the chief executive and/or leader outlining reasons for nominating their Executive Director.

Sponsored by:

Matt Lamb, Newark and Sherwood District Council

Matt Pope, Wokingham Borough Council

Nigel Minns, Warwickshire County Council

Polly Cziok, London Borough of Hackney

Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council

Delivering Better Outcomes

With challenging budgets for the public sector, much more emphasis is being placed on achieving more with fewer resources and with delivering outcomes not just outputs. Yet despite budget constraints councils are still expected to help their residents and their communities. This category looks at how through innovation council teams have made a real difference to the lives of their citizens by providing better outcome-focused services or projects.

Sponsored by:


Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Brent, Brent Hubs

The London Borough of Hounslow, Community Solutions

East Hertfordshire District Council

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network

London Borough of Enfield

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and High Peak Borough Council, Pick-Fit

Digital Transformation

A digital approach to organisational transformation should be at the centre of shaping local government structure, services, strategy and culture. It is core to transforming an organisation, changing culture, focusing service delivery on the front line, and streamlining the back office. Advances in technology help to improve efficiency in quality services at a time of higher public expectations and stagnant budgets. Sustaining significant transformation is difficult to achieve. In this category local authority teams are invited to enter examples of digital innovation that have led to the successful transformation of a service, a department or an organisation.


Sponsored by:

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, A sustainable digital solution to improving EHC Plans for children and young people

Walsall Council, Delivering responsive services through Location Intelligence

Carmarthenshire County Council, Delta CONNECT

London Borough of Hounslow

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, OneView use across ComSol to drive change and innovation in service delivery

Durham County Council, Tech to tackle litter

Innovation in Building Diversity and Inclusion

The benefits that diversity and inclusion can bring to organisations – be this increased creativity, innovation, wellbeing or productivity - have long been recognised, yet the pace of progress is insufficient. This category looks at those organisations that have made Equality, Diversity and Inclusion a strategic imperative, not just a tick box exercise, and have shown pioneering ways to delivered successful initiatives with proven progress and results.

Sponsored by:

London Borough of Redbridge, Embedding EDI in collaboration with the community

Worcestershire County Council, SCULPT for Accessibility

Birmingham City Council, Shelforce

South Lanarkshire Council, Housing and Technical Resources - Innovation in Building Diversity and Inclusion within our Gypsy/Traveller communities especially in light of COVID-19

London Borough of Wandsworth

Innovation in Children’s and Adults' Services

The judges are looking for quantifiable evidence of innovation, impact and learning from a committed children’s and/or adult services team. The team will have worked efficiently and effectively to deliver demonstrable impact in services in their local area in either children’s or adult services. The winning team will have successfully integrated different services and partners and developed creative, forward thinking services for children, young people and/or adults.

Sponsored by:

Birmingham City Council, Preparation for Adulthood

City of Wolverhampton Council – Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council

Hertfordshire County Council, The Centre for Family Safeguarding Practice

Lincolnshire County Council, Maximising independence through changing culture, behaviour and practice

London Borough of Newham, Newham Multi Agency Collaborative

Manchester City Council, New Arrivals Team

Salford City Council, Route 29

Walsall Council – Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency

On 25 July 2020 the UK recorded its highest ever temperature at 38.7 degrees Celsius. Less than three months later, 3 October was the wettest day ever recorded in the UK, with enough rainfall to fill the 7.5 cubic km estimated volume of Loch Ness. If ever there was a need for tangible evidence that our climate is changing, 2020 has provided it in abundance.

Sponsored by:

Cheshire West and Chester Council, Climate Emergency response

Essex County Council, Essex County Council and the Essex Climate Action Commission

South Cambridgeshire District Council, Green to our Core programme

Manchester City Council, Manchester City Council's journey to zero carbon

London Borough of Enfield and London Borough of Waltham Forest, Retrofit London

Wokingham Borough Council, Wokingham Climate Change Plan in Action

Local Authority of the Year

Category Overview

This category highlights success not just in one local authority department or project but right across the organisation. Winning this prestige category, or reaching the shortlist, sends out a message to both staff, partners and potential partners that the local authority is a high-performing council, an important factor at a time of increasing devolution. Previous winners are councils that displayed a strong corporate centre with close synergy between the senior management team and the Cabinet, together driving innovation and high performance across the authority. Clear vision by senior management and members, strong forward planning and evidence of successful service provision should be outlined in the entry.

The judges will be looking for evidence of real performance improvement across the authority. Therefore the submission should come from the Chief Executive and/or Leader of the council. While we will take into account previous external assessments, the judges of this award will be making up their own minds. 

Sponsored by:

Caerphilly County Borough Council

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

North Kesteven District Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Place Based Approaches to Health Equity

Within the UK there are stark differences in people’s opportunities to lead healthy lives resulting in a 20 year gap in healthy life expectancy between the richest and poorest in our society. Local government has a vital role in creating the conditions for good health: good quality work and housing; supporting communities and families to thrive and delivering investment in skills and infrastructure.

Sponsored by:

Basildon Borough Council, Essex Local Delivery Pilot

Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Vaccine Inequalities Action

North Somerset Council, North Somerset's Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy: partnerships, communities and engagement in action

North Lanarkshire Council, Rainbow Shelter

London Borough of Newham, Well Newham: 50 Steps to a Healthier Borough

Rising star

In this category, local authority managers from departments across their organisations are invited to nominate one or more of their younger staff whom they feel shows exceptional ability, dedication and promise. Entries should be submitted by the staff member’s line manager with examples of the staff member’s achievements and why the manager believes they deserve to be nominated. Nominated candidates should be available to attend the judging day. 

Sponsored by:

Clare Skipper, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Emily Doorbar, Staffordshire County Council

Grace Couch, Swale Borough Council

Kieran Simpson, City of Wolverhampton Council

Kristy Thakur, Hertfordshire County Council

Martin Russell, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Matthew Pinning, Ashfield District Council

Simon Mitchell, Oxfordshire County Council

Senior Leadership Team

This category recognizes the vital role of the senior management team in a local authority and its impact on service delivery and successful organizational change. The senior management (or leadership) team comprises the chief executive and directors of the authority and entries should be submitted by the chief executive. Entries should focus on the achievements of the team and its recognizable outcomes.

Sponsored by:


Milton Keynes Council

Portsmouth City Council

Chorley Council and South Ribble Borough Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

West Lindsey District Council

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Transforming Lives

These could be people with a disability or health condition, those who have particular needs from being in the criminal justice system or recovering from substance misuse, those who have not had the best starts to life through family breakdown or involvement in the care system, or those from any other area that have had significant barriers. Whatever their age or background they will be groups who needed help to change their worlds.

Sponsored by:

Amargh, Bambridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Hull City Council

Middlesbrough Council

Norfolk County Council

Nottingham City Council/Nottinghamshire County Council

Workforce Transformation

The local government workforce is changing. Motivated and engaged employees, with the right attitude and skills, are key to delivering customer focused and flexible services. Councils need to manage and motivate their workforces to increase productivity and transform local public services.

Sponsored by:



London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Worcestershire County Council, SCULPT for Accessibility

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, South Lake Leisure Centre

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Wakefield City Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest