Manchester City Council has been named Council of the Year at the prestigious LGC (Local Government Chronicle) Awards.
The Council took the title for its ambition, innovation and civic leadership even as it helped support the city through the Covid pandemic - and its refreshed focus on putting people at the heart of everything it does.
The judges said they were “impressed by the united approach of staff, partners and residents” and the way that the Council works with partner organisations and residents to shape services and projects and get results. They added: “This council is a generous partner that has transformed services with outcomes which buck the national trend.”
The last 12 months saw new leader, Cllr Bev Craig take up the role in December 2021 bringing a smooth transition but an exciting and ambitious new focus, and continuing representation at a national level by chief executive Joanne Roney OBE, including in her role as President of SOLACE (The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives.)
It was a year which also saw the city’s children’s services rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted, putting them among the best in the North West of England and completing a turnaround from when they had been classed as ‘inadequate’ in 2014.
The Council is running an Our Year campaign to create activities and opportunities for young people, one of the groups most affected by the pandemic, and putting them at the heart of decision making.
Manchester’s Local Care Organisation is recognised as a model of good practice nationally. Led by the Council, Manchester Partnership Board has driven health and care integration across the city, putting it ahead of the national agenda on integrated care systems.
The Council has ambitious plans to oversee the creation of 10,000 social and affordable homes over the next 10 years and through its This City housing delivery company will build 500+ new homes a year.
LGC awards judges also commended the Council for its response to the climate crisis.
Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said:
“We know that Manchester is a fantastic place and it’s a great honour to receive this accolade from our peers in local government recognising the councils leadership. While it is really pleasing to be recognised in this way the real reward is making a positive difference and we remain fixed on our goal of becoming a top flight world city that’s inclusive, sustainable and more equal - a city which puts its people at its heart”
Chief Executive Joanne Roney OBE said:
“This award is brilliant recognition for the hard work our staff and elected members do all year round for the great city of Manchester and its people. They have had many challenges to face, from Manchester being among the councils hardest hit by central government funding cuts to grappling with the impacts of the pandemic and the economic recovery but they have passed them with flying colours. I am proud to be their chief executive.”
The awards ceremony took place in London last night (Wednesday 20 July.)