2021 Winners


Local Authority of the Year

Plymouth City Council

Judges described this as a local authority that has put culture-led regeneration and a sense of place at its heart, one that is determined to put its city on the map for all the right reasons and where political and officer leadership is genuinely a single voice for the benefit of all residents.


Best Council Services Team

Lancashire CC

A fantastic service team who went above and beyond call of duty during the pandemic. The staff gave up their own family time to ‘move in’ with the children in care to create a safe COVID bubble. Staff believe in the ability of the children and create a positive atmosphere leading to amazing successes.

Highly Commended:

Caerphilly County Borough Council - Free School Meals Home Delivery Service


Best Social Housing

Swansea CBC

What stood out from the Swansea submission was the complete understanding of the need to gather together lessons and experience and share this nationally ‘working as a nation’ to address best practice in affordable housing delivery. Strong political stewardship and commitment to ensuring true sustainable, low carbon outcomes that reduced costs to residents were very clearly shown to be delivered through the programme. An attention to detail to ensure ‘incremental gains’ through testing pilot projects and applying learning we also a testament to ensuring innovation added value. A strong commitment to post occupancy evaluation and links with universities mean outcomes are measured and fed into the future local programme but also nationally to other providers. The development of a process map for the widest project inputs and influences showed a continuous learning approach that made Swansea a clear winner

Highly Commended:

Cambridge City Council New Housing Programme

City of Wolverhampton Council - Private Sector Housing Initiative


Care and Health Integration

London Borough of Bromley

The ONE Bromley partnership, which brings together the council, local NHS health providers, commissioners and the voluntary sector to formally collaborate to deliver better care and ensure more effective and joined up services, quickly reacted to the emerging pandemic. It was critical to ensure timely hospital discharge to enable maintenance of acute capacity and support the large care home market in responding to the significant challenges COVID brought for this sector. Judges said it showed a quick and effective response, overcoming a wide array of obstacles with an impressive reduction in length of stay, and high satisfaction from care homes.

Highly Commended:

Isle of Wight Council - Hospital Discharge Facilitation

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council - The Wuhan Repatriation


Chief Executive of the Year

Joanne Roney, Manchester City Council

Joanne’s leadership at both a local and national level as well as to her staff is exemplary and inspirational. She has transformed the culture of Manchester City Council and is a true champion of the critical role of local government. She is the very essence of outstanding leadership, innovation, determination and commitment to her authority, her staff and her community.

Highly Commended:

Caerphilly County Borough Council - Christina Harrhy


Community Heroes

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Achieving an outstanding Ofsted judgment in children’s services is a remarkable feat. To do this in the context of 2020, while simultaneously playing an active role in corporate objectives, was unanimously acknowledged by the panel. Jo’s leadership proved instrumental in ensuring the outstanding platform created can reach yet further across the region and partnership, making her a worthy winner of this prestigious award.

Highly Commended:

Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils Housing Solutions Team

London Borough of Hillingdon - Sarah Durner


Corporate Director of the Year

Jo Britton, Telford & Wrekin Council

Achieving an outstanding Ofsted judgment in children’s services is a remarkable feat. To do this in the context of 2020, while simultaneously playing an active role in corporate objectives, was unanimously acknowledged by the panel. Jo’s leadership proved instrumental in ensuring the outstanding platform created can reach yet further across the region and partnership, making her a worthy winner of this prestigious award.

Paul Edmondson-Jones, Stoke on Trent City Council

Paul is a great example of someone leading through uncertainty with insight, intelligence, experience, and example. His leadership and wider contribution internally and externally were universally acknowledged by the panel. Paul’s leadership courage instilled confidence, allowing the service to make difficult decisions in an untested environment.


Delivering Better Outcomes

Somerset County Council

An innovative solution to nationwide care market challenges developed with positive impact on local businesses, clear savings for the councils while delivering significantly improved outcomes for vulnerable clients.

Highly Commended:

East Suffolk Council - Stepping Home

Plymouth City Council - Pause Plymouth Social Outcomes Partnership


Digital Transformation

Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster

Bracknell Forest Council, Reading Borough Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, Wokingham Borough Council

The judges were particularly impressed with the genuinely joined up working between the participating organisations. This LEP funded project has invested just under £1m in nine innovative businesses to develop smart city solutions addressing a range of challenges faced by local authorities in delivering services in unprecedented times. Projects such as Project Joy, IntelAgent, Eco Rewards and My Way offer a real opportunity for local authorities across the UK to learn from and tailor to their own needs.

Highly Commended:

Aberdeenshire Council - The Proposed Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2020 - Delivering Digital Engagement During a Pandemic

Durham County Council - Digital Durham


Innovation in Building Diversity

Bradford City Council

The Council demonstrated a systematic and integrated data driven approach to understanding the needs of diverse communities in Braford (both established and new migrant communities), using local knowledge, partners and ambassadors to engage local people. The judges took particular note of the success at recruiting ethnically diverse participants to COVID-19 trials, which is of critical importance and sadly not replicated in many other research trials. This entry highlighted the strength of local partnerships and leveraging research and intelligence infrastructure during the early stages of the pandemic to deliver effective data-led public health interventions that saved many lives. Judges saw this approach as having a much broader application beyond the pandemic. It is commendable how it is now being used to tackle other long-standing health inequalities in Bradford.

Highly Commended:

London Borough of Ealing/West London Alliance/North West London NHS - WLA (and Partners) and North West London NHS Working together to Recruit from Local Communities.

Somerset West and Taunton Council - Supporting Neurodiversity in Somerset West and Taunton


Innovation in Children’s Services

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Judges were impressed by the simplicity of this programme, which adopted a co-production and whole community approach and championed community ambassadors. The team put the needs of all children first by promoting replication of the programme across the wider community and demonstrated their ambition to influence government and make policy and legislative change.

Highly Commended:

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council - With Me In Mind

Gloucestershire County Council - Trevone House


Leadership in responding to the climate emergency

Cornwall Council

It is clear that Cornwall Council have taken seriously the threat posed by climate change and used that momentum to galvanise action across the county. From secure governance structures to innovation and community engagement, the council is forging ahead in the race to net-zero, nature-based solutions and climate adaptation.

Highly Commended:

London Borough of Hounslow - Exemplar Environmental and Green Recovery Programme


Public Health Improvement

Cumbria County Council

The winning project showed strong evidence of significant impact. It was innovative with deep community participation and development and based on lived experience as well as wider evidence. The learning from the project is being used across the county to develop services and the council are participating in learning programmes nationally and internationally to share best practice.

Highly Commended:

Derbyshire County Council - The Derbyshire Difference

Liverpool City Council - Liverpool's COVID-19 journey


Rising Star

Mark Broadbent, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Mark has shown real dedication, creativity and innovation to digital engagement in Calderdale, both before and during the pandemic, keeping residents fully informed throughout. He has gone above and beyond to make a strong impact, engaging with various community groups and partners whilst really putting Calderdale on the map.

Highly Commended:

Harry Mills, North Somerset Council - Harry Mills

Zara Khan, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council - Zara Khan


Senior Management Team

Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

This leadership team were clear, focused and passionate about their community. A diverse and collaborative team they held strong shared values, were working naturally with partners and demonstrated how they had renewed inspiration to change and transform services to meet the needs of their communities. Great strategy, action and performance management was evidenced and their joint political and officer leadership impact is tangible. A clear winner.

Highly Commended:

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council - Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Corporate Leadership Team 

Durham County Council - Totaalbeheer


Transforming Lives

West London Alliance

The West London Alliance IPS model impressed the judges due to the real outcomes produced by the programme. It is not only changing perceptions of addiction it is changing mindsets, empowering people to move into work by providing wraparound services, taking a cross-partnering approach. It took a collaborative approach to securing outcomes ensuring that multi-disciplinary funding streams could be developed. The method, process and science behind this programme stood out ensuring it was impactful, had longevity, is scalable and innovative. But most importantly, this project supports people with addiction in a dignified and humane way giving individuals the tools and support to help them to transform their lives themselves for the long term.

Highly Commended:

Cumbria County Council - Tackling drug related deaths in Barrow-in-Furness

London Borough of Lewisham - Becoming the UK's first Council of Sanctuary


Workforce Transformation

North Tyneside Council

The panel unanimously chose North Tyneside as the winner because it reconfigured its children’s social work model in 2017 with small teams working in flexible ways with strong management support and training. It provided strong evidence of performance compared with national benchmarks and has no vacancies and no agency staff, which is highly unusual in a children’s social work setting. Last, but not least, Ofsted has rated the service Outstanding and they are leading national research into children services delivery.The submission clearly demonstrated flexible and joined-up ways of working, staff engagement and a can-do culture.

Highly Commended:

London Borough of Hounslow - Embedding new values and behaviours

South Kesteven District Council - Hitting the Ground Running - LeisureSK Ltd

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council - Workforce Deployment and reservist model of the future