Sefton Council was one of the winners at the Local Government Chronicle Awards when it picked up the Commissioning Pioneer Award.
Over 900 of the most senior figures in British local government gathered in London to celebrate achievements and best practice across the sector. It is the 19th year of the LGC Awards, one of the most prestigious events in the local government calendar.
After review by a panel of judges, made up of senior and influential figures from the public sector, Sefton Council was presented with the Commissioning Pioneer award for “putting the community in community meals”.
In 2013 Sefton Council decided to stop providing a community meals service and instead look at new ways of meeting the need. By working with a range of voluntary and community sector partners and with the local business sector, the Council was able to develop a market of alternative providers that better meets people’s needs and gives them greater choice and control.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Cabinet Member for Older People and Health, said, “I am very pleased that the highly innovative approach which we took to tackling this issue has been recognised with this award. Not only did it result in a saving of £250,000, it also means that we can now offer vulnerable people a service which is tailored to their needs and offers them greater choice.
“In addition, by working in partnership with local voluntary organisations such as Sefton CVS and Age Concern, we have been able to strengthen community links which we can build on for the future.”
LGC’s editor Nick Goulding said, “This was a compelling submission that the judges thought to be brave and different. The panel thought that the approach would be scalable and believe there would be a benefit to sharing the learning widely.
“It is vital that we celebrate the best of local government, not least as the talent and innovation of council officers and councillors is often not recognised to the extent it should be. The recipients of the awards are the people doing the most to improve services at a time when resources are constrained. We should thank them for their great work.”
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