Doncaster council nominated for ‘most improved council’ award

Doncaster's  Civic Offices.
Doncaster's Civic Offices.

Doncaster council has been shortlisted for a prestigious LGC award in the ‘most improved council’ category.

The local authority is the only council in the county to have been nominated, and is one of four up for the award overall.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said of the nomination: “This is fantastic news and truly well deserved.”

She continued: “People in Doncaster have a right to good governance and well-run local services; sadly this has been lacking in the past.

“In the last two years we have developed a new strategic direction, sound financial planning and an absolute focus on bringing further jobs and growth to the borough.

“We are out of government intervention one year early which we believe further strengthens our case to be labelled as most improved council.

“This is a far cry from 2010 when we were considered the ‘worst council in Britain’.”

In 2010 Doncaster was subjected to statutory intervention in which the council was overseen by three commissioners, following what Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, described as ‘serious failings in the council’s corporate governance’.

The statutory intervention was supposed to end on July 31, 2015, but in July last year Mr Pickles announced the intervention would end one year early due to the ‘level of improvement’ achieved by the local authority.

Commenting on the LGC nomination, Chief Executive, Jo Miller said: “Being shortlisted for one of the top local government awards is a testament to the sheer hard work of many people and a gritty determination to be the best we can for the people of Doncaster in very challenging financial circumstances.

“We have come a long way and it’s a great boost to morale that improvements are being recognised externally.

“Our ambition is high, the next few years are challenging and we have some way to go. Fundamentally, as a Council, as a workforce, as a partner we adopt a ‘Team Doncaster’ everyone in it together approach to help this place and its people thrive.”

Doncaster has also been shortlisted for two more awards which are Team of the Year and Campaign of the Year. Team of the Year are the Integrated Discharge Team which includes colleagues from the Council, RDaSH and Doncaster Bassetlaw Hospital Trust who have developed a forward thinking discharge service which prevents unnecessary discharge delays and avoidable admissions in the acute trust.

Cherwell and South Northamptonshire District Councils, North Ayrshire Council and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council are the other local authorities who have been shortlisted for the Most Improved Council Award.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 11.