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North Warwickshire Borough Council and partners win at 2021 Public Service Excellence Awards

Published on Tuesday, 14th September 2021

Award photo

There was a great reason to celebrate for teams from North Warwickshire Borough Council at the recent Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards, following a challenging year.

The Awards which recognise the very best in local government frontline services across the UK saw Warwickshire County Council and partners (the County’s five Borough and District Council and Police) win the category for the ‘Best Collaborative Working Initiative’ for the support given to local businesses during the pandemic.  

Amongst the multi-agent teams from across the County who were commended for their outstanding contribution were North Warwickshire’s Environmental Health Team.

The multi-agency approach involved the Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Community Safety teams; the District and Borough Councils; Public Health; Warwickshire Police; Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and Coventry City Council.

The collaboration saw 4,300 interactions by the partners with businesses over compliance with COVID-19 Regulations since 25 March 2020, with enforcement action needing to be taken on only six occasions. 

With an emphasis on informal advice and support, rather than enforcement, the partners produced best practice guides and information for staff, operators and senior managers as the regulatory framework and guidance changed throughout the pandemic.

Leader of the Council Cllr David Wright said, “I am delighted to see that the hard work and dedication of our Environmental Health colleagues has been recognised at a national level. From the outset the team have been at the forefront of providing advice on new procedures, measures and risk assessments to local businesses and the community ensuring that there was consistency and support when needed and that their staff and customers were safe.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted and proud that the County Council and our partners have been recognised by receiving this APSE Award. As a result of our joined-up working, residents and business have not only seen consistency in terms of advice and support, but also transparency in the way we have applied the COVID-19 Regulations. While seeking compliance, we have at the same time, placed an emphasis on support and information to businesses, only using enforcement powers on the rare occasions when all other avenues have failed. The collaboration and consistency that lies at the heart of this approach provides a long-lasting legacy of co-operation between partners that will last well beyond the pandemic.”

Deputy Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, Alex Franklin Smith, said: “I am delighted the force’s contribution has been recognised at a national level and am incredibly proud of how we have adapted our ways of working during a particularly challenging 18 months.

“We have always maintained an emphasis on giving informal advice and support, and engagement rather than enforcement, and along with our partners, have done everything we can to keep the people of Warwickshire protected at all times.

“Collaborating with partner agencies was absolutely key to providing a consistent response to the pandemic across the county.

“It was imperative that we worked together to support the vast majority of people and businesses determined to do the right thing while ensuring appropriate actions were taken against those deliberately putting others at risk.

“I would like to thank all those involved in the multi-agency work, which I believe made a vital contribution to keeping people safe during a significant health crisis.

“The approach built on relationships that were already established and made them even stronger, leaving a legacy of partnership work that will continue to benefit the people of Warwickshire for years to come.”

The APSE awards recognise the very best in local government frontline services across the UK. To find out the winners of each category in the APSE Service Awards 2021, visit www.apse.org.uk/apse/index.cfm/events/apse-annual-service-awards-2021/