|Wigan Council officially one of the most efficient councils in the country
Wigan Council has been shortlisted as one of the most efficient councils in the country in the leading awards for UK local government.
The council is shortlisted as a finalist in the efficiency category in the 2018 LGC Awards thanks to its work through The Deal – a ground-breaking informal contract between the council and its residents which has transformed services.
The awards, run by the Local Government Chronicle, are the biggest and most prestigious awards ceremony for the local government sector.
The awards seek to identify and recognise local government’s greatest innovators, whose achievements are often under reported.
Wigan Council’s entry focused on its successful work to reduce its budget by £160m since 2010.
Thanks to acting early and following a clear plan that focused on transforming rather than cutting services, Wigan Council managed to not only keep its savings programme on track with £115m already saved, but overachieve on efficiencies and protect frontline services.
This means the council has no savings targets for children’s or adult social care in the current and next financial year.
Wigan Council also bucked the trend among local government in cutting services in communities by investing millions of pounds in its community groups to reduce demand on core services.
The council has achieved all this while maintaining the second lowest council tax in Greater Manchester.
Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: “We are very proud to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.
“The LGC Awards are highly regarded in local government so it proves we are really at the national forefront of providing great services for our residents.
“We have worked so hard to transform our services through the principles of The Deal while managing to reduce both demand on services and our budget by £115m so far.
“This could not have been achieved without the whole of the council working together and of course the support of our residents.
“We will be hoping to win the overall title when the awards are announced in March.”
The LGC said the high quality of this year’s entries demonstrates local government’s enthusiasm to innovate in an era in which councils’ budgets have been cut.
With budgets at the forefront of priorities, it is even more important this year to shine a spotlight on the achievements of those councils whose pioneering best practice can inspire other councils to improve services.
LGC editor Nick Golding said: “To be shortlisted for an LGC Award shows a council service is among the country’s most innovative, and doing the most to support the needs of local residents as councils face continuing budget cuts.
“We should salute the council officers and councillors doing the most to ensure our vital public services thrive in the era of austerity.”
The full list of finalists can be found at awards.lgcplus.com