Norwich City Council named ‘council of the year’ in national awards
21:31 05 March 2014
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Norwich City Council has been named ‘council of the year’ at an awards ceremony, while a pioneering scheme with the city’s school earned it second place in another category.
The accolades were bestowed on City Hall, described as “a truly outstanding local authority”, at the iESE Improvement and Efficiency Awards at a ceremony in London.
In the council of the year category, the city council won the gold award, beating Buckingham County Council and Oxford City Council into second and third place, respectively.
It took the silver award in the transformation in waste and environment category for its project involving tiny computers known as Rapsberry Pi.
Norwich City Council is in the process of replacing some 800 computers at City Hall – 9.7 tonnes of electronic kit – with a new system.
But the technology will not be wasted, because the council has sent more than 500 of them to a company in Battersea, London, to wipe all the data and refurbish them.
They will then be sold and the money used to buy credit-card sized single-board computers, known as Rapsberry Pi, which the city’s schools will use to get youngsters interested in technology and programming.
Other equipment, such as keyboards and mice will also be distributed to Norwich’s schools.
Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “I’m always ready to praise the hard work and dedication of both members and officers at the city council and the way we have developed strong partnerships with other sectors who work with us.
“And now, after these achievements, I have even more to be proud of as it simply adds weight to my assertions that the council is an amazing organisation working in a fantastic city.”
Laura McGillivray, the council’s chief executive, said: “These awards proved to be the icing on the cake for us in what has been a year of remarkable achievements.
“Going from being an underperforming council to one that is efficient, high performing, creative, collaborative and delivers on its promises, has needed a combined effort from the whole organisation.
“This was formally recognised when we were proudly presented with both awards.”
Paul Bettison, chairman of The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise, said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Norwich City Council.
“A truly outstanding local authority, it has grown from a once poor performer to one that now boasts savings proportionally higher than many much larger authorities.
“Following a whole culture and systems change across the organisation, its innovative solutions and thinking ‘outside of the box’ has earned high credibility with both residents and businesses.”
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