Lancaster City Council's housing team wins top award
The outstanding work undertaken by Lancaster City Council to support its tenants through the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised with an acclaimed award from a national body that promotes excellence in public services.
The council’s housing team picked up the top prize in the ‘Best service team – housing, construction and building service’ category at Thursday’s Apse awards.
The awards recognise and celebrate councils that have achieved excellent results in different service areas.
The judges were impressed with the response by the council’s income management team, who recognised at an early stage that the finances of council housing tenants would be hugely affected by Covid.
Much of the early work of the team was around reassurance and support and working intensively with residents on a case-by-case basis. As a result, the team supported residents to receive additional income through benefits and grants to the tune of £362,000 over the last year.
The team also worked with residents to find sustainable solutions to their financial problems.
In addition to winning one award, the council was shortlisted in three other categories:
• Best Workforce Initiative
• Best Efficiency and Transformation Initiative
• Best Climate Action Initiative
The council was also one of just seven from across the country in the running for the prestigious ‘Council of the Year’ category, losing out to Telford & Wrekin Council.
Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “As a council we have worked tirelessly to tackle the many difficulties faced by our communities through Covid and I am particularly proud of the way in which we supported our tenants.
“This award is richly deserved and testament to the commitment and dedication of our income management team in making sure tenants received the support they needed.
“Congratulations must also go to the teams shortlisted in the other categories and also staff from across the organisation. At a time when we were all facing tremendous personal challenges, council officers went the extra mile to make sure residents felt supported, helped and cared for. Being nominated for Council of the Year was a tremendous achievement and each and every one of them should be very proud.”
Kieran Keane, Chief Executive of Lancaster City Council, said: “Every single day staff from across the council strive to deliver the best possible service to our communities and it’s wonderful to see that their hard work has been recognised nationally.
“The last year has proved extremely challenging for us all, but despite the difficulties we have continued to strive for excellence and the success in these awards is just reward.”