These range from ground-breakingly successful community schemes to glowing Health and Safety standards.
The Ideas in Motion Campaign and our innovative Streets Ahead programme have both won 2014 MJ Achievement Awards.
Ideas in Motion, the Council’s sustainable transport campaign, beat off stiff competition from more than 50 other local authorities across the country to win the MJ Award for Behaviour Change 2014.
Judges commended the project’s community-led approach, creative branding and inclusion of the voluntary sector in delivering personalised travel planning services for local residents. This has already significant boosted the use of sustainable transport. www.ideasinmotionsouthend.co.uk
The MJ Awards for local government are designed to recognise and inspire excellence in the public sector.
The Behaviour Change award shows how, by understanding citizens, staff and partners can change behaviours, save money and improve outcomes in a creative and sustainable way.
Meanwhile the Streets Ahead programme won the MJ’s Excellence in Community Engagement award.
Streets Ahead is a joint project working with partners across the borough to help improve aspirations, health, skills and life chances of people trapped in a spiral of difficulties.
It is tackling the national Troubled Families agenda, by giving intensive, integrated and targeted support to families to break a long term cycle of need. The aim is to build strong communities by helping develop strong families.
Streets Ahead appointed five community workers in January 2013 to work alongside established family key workers.
Their first task was to carry out detailed surveys of people living in their wards and build directories of all services available to them. They now:
- Ensure that Streets Ahead families can access services, projects & activities to sustain positive change.
- Act to resolve the local issues troubled families have identified as key risk factors that ‘keep them troubled’.
- Help close the divide between those who have and those who do not have access to opportunities in their area.
- Help improve the social factors of disadvantage and disengagement in their area.
The Quality Safety Audit (QSA) scrutinises an organisation's safety management system and judges it against set criteria.
The auditor probes documented procedures and the way activities are actually being controlled in practice, so organisations can recognise levels of achievement in health and safety management.
QSA Awards which range upwards from one to five, involve hard work and dedication and the top two award levels especially represent outstanding commitment to effective health and safety management.
It is a remarkable achievement for the Council to gain level five, the diamond award – a standard no other authority was able to reach.
Also, The Forum Southend-on-Sea reached the regional finals of the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) awards for being the best educational building in East Anglia.
The Building Excellence Awards are all about the essence of good buildings where finalists are judged on the Excellence shown from a construction and technical building control perspective.
These awards recognise not just buildings but celebrate their design and construction teams that have tussled with technical issues, difficult sites and found innovative and creative solutions. This is a real credit to the Council’s building control team and all the partners involved in The Forum Southend-on-Sea.
Council Leader, Councillor Ron Woodley said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in these projects for their hard work and dedication gaining such prestigious awards. These successes show a consistently high standard across the whole authority because they cover different aspects of Council services.
"Like all local authorities, we are currently grappling with the challenges of increasing demands on our services at a time of severe financial constraint.
“One of our key approaches in meeting this challenge is to help individuals and communities to help themselves and build strong partnerships across the borough.
“By working with residents, the community and with key partners, we can bring people together and deliver top quality award-winning services for the benefit of all.”