Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are joint finalists in a national competition to find the ‘Council of the Year’ – recognising the authorities’ innovative service improvements in supporting their communities through Covid-19 and beyond.
The joint entry by Babergh and Mid Suffolk in the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2021 saw them named this week alongside Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Wigan Council as finalists for the prestigious Council of the Year title.
The councils fended off competition from more than 100 other organisations nationwide to become finalists in two other categories – Customer Focus, and Asset Management and Regeneration.
The councils’ planning enforcement team is recognised in the Customer Focus category, for streamlining processes and using technology to speed up investigations and put information at officers’ fingertips in order to improve the service for residents.
In the Asset Management and Regeneration category, our economic development team are hoping to pick up an award for Sudbury Virtual High Street, developed with Sudbury Town Council and our Sudbury Vision partners. The online platform for Sudbury’s traders has provided an innovative solution for businesses forced to close their doors during lockdown.
The overall Council of the Year award meanwhile, is reserved for those deemed ‘outstanding’ in transforming their services and creating vibrant communities – with recognition of the councils’ joint working and use of technology in helping communities to thrive and be places that their residents are proud to call home.
Cllr John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council said: “This nomination couldn’t have come in a more challenging year. The pandemic has presented us with unprecedented demands and difficult decisions over how best to support our district and its recovery post-Covid. I am delighted that we are in the running for Council of the Year 2021 and would like to thank all councillors, officers and partners working with us to help deliver our visions for our towns and communities – ensuring Babergh continues to be somewhere people are proud to call home for years to come.”
Cllr Suzie Morley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council said: “It’s wonderful to have been named as finalists in three categories – particularly for Council of the Year. The last 12 months have taken an unimaginable toll on so many people, but I am immensely proud that we have not only supported our communities through the immediate response to the pandemic, but also in how we have progressed ambitious and innovative plans to help transform our district and ensure a healthy post-Covid future for all our residents.”
Chief Executive of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils Arthur Charvonia said: “Our employees have risen to the challenge of Covid-19 magnificently, showing resilience and relentless focus to support our communities, but we have also continued to be innovative in our thinking about how to make a real difference to our residents’ quality of life post-Covid. I am delighted that their dedication to Babergh and Mid Suffolk has been recognised in this way.”
The councils must now wait until the final on Wednesday 8 September, to see if they can scoop a top award. To find out more about the Public Sector Transformation Awards and all the shortlisted finalists go to: