Fighting off stiff competition, East Riding of Yorkshire Council scooped APSE Overall Council of the Year at the APSE Service Awards 2020. The Council spoke to APSE Direct and revealed the secrets to their success.
Our vision, ‘Your East Riding… Where everyone matters’ reflects the importance of our ambition for everyone we serve to have the best quality of life. Never had that vision been tested more than in the year of 2020. Residents, staff, businesses and the community have never known a challenge quite like it, yet 2020 was the year our resilience and ambition shone like never before. Our services not only continued, but excelled. Our staff adapted and achieved. Our communities united and thrived. Together, and side-by-side with all councils across the UK, 2020 was the year we provided the very best of local government services.
In what has been an exceptionally challenging year, to be crowned Overall Council of the Year by APSE at its Annual Service Awards in December is a phenomenal accolade for East Riding of Yorkshire Council and is testament to our staff’s ongoing dedication and commitment to delivering highly-valued services for our residents, businesses and communities.
Councillor Richard Burton, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, was delighted with the recognition and heaped praise on staff at the Council who have maintained such high standards throughout a global pandemic.
He said, "The prestigious title of Overall Council of the Year comes at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year.
"With huge thanks, I recognise the hard work everyone within our Council continues to contribute, building effective relationships with our residents to achieve ever higher value for money, and thank you to APSE for sharing the best of what we do in a strong collaboration with our business partners and the voluntary and community sector."
As well as the Overall Council of the Year Award, the Council’s registration and celebration services, environmental and waste services, fleet services, civil engineering services and road safety and housing services were all APSE finalists this year.
The East Riding’s waste and recycling team won Best Service Team: Waste Management and Recycling Services for the second year in a row. The East Riding achieved England’s highest recycling rate for three years running. We recycled, reused or composted 64.8% of household waste – more than 344 other councils. To show how far we have progressed, 12 years ago we were ranked 214th with a 24.9% recycling rate.
Within the Communities and Environment directorate, we look to proactively develop our services for the benefit of the communities we serve. We continue to seek out new opportunities to enhance our offer to ensure all our services are valued by our residents, and work in partnership to address complex problems including climate change, crime, health inequalities and economic growth. East Riding of Yorkshire Council has always recognised the importance of supporting those most vulnerable in our society and in particular in 2020 - refugees. Offering greatly needed assistance to these families fleeing an extremely desperate situation is a great example of this. Shelter, security and the opportunity to improve one’s family circumstances are the cornerstones of what our society is built upon. By working with non-government organisations, partners in the private and charitable sectors - along with strong cross directorate linkages - we have been able to offer a holistic package of support to help these new residents of the East Riding fulfil their potential and integrate into the new communities.
With its spectacular scenery and thriving tourism industry, the East Riding is highly regarded for attracting major companies to locate themselves there. Technology giant Siemens, chemical industry specialists Croda International and biomass experts ARC have all decided to move to a state-of-the-art site in Goole recently. But Cllr Burton sees this very much as just the start of things to come.
Cllr Burton said, “We are shaping the East Riding into a place where there is great innovation and where ambition flourishes and we stand proud and strong alongside our Yorkshire neighbours. We have a strong focus on enhancing our communities, embracing commercialism and the ever-changing world of technology as well as delivering a sound financial strategy.”
Key to the success is the excellent partnership with residents and businesses - essential for progress. Both the successes in service delivery and attracting economic investment have been thanks to unrivalled collaboration between the Council, its residents and partners. Through close working with the Humber and the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Environment Agency and Whitehall departments, the council has helped unlock crucial funding for UK-leading flood alleviation and major transport projects.
Cllr. Richard Burton, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Councillor Burton added, “We believe the East Riding is a fantastic place to live, work, shop, learn, play, invest and visit. Our staff are asked to consider not only how we can improve our services, but also how we can help each other to innovate using digital, and make best use of every pound spent to achieve best results for the public and to support business growth.
“Despite the clear obstacles throughout 2020, the East Riding has continued to progress and prosper in a number of different areas and this culminated in being named the Overall Council of the Year.
“Whilst being very proud of everyone at East Riding, I’d also like to pay tribute to all our colleagues across the country for their hard work in unprecedented times. We know how hard every authority is working to support their communities in such times, whilst also delivering essential services. We wish all councils the very best for 2021.”