South Somerset District Council receives a commendation and is named as a finalist at the MJ Local Government Achievement Awards 2020

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The MJ Local Government Achievement Awards have been held every year since 2004. They have become one of the major events within the public sector calendar and are regarded as the premier awards in Local Government.

We’re delighted to announce that, for the second year in a row, South Somerset District Council has not only been commended for its work but it has also been shortlisted for one of its major prizes.

The council has received a commendation from The MJ for its Workforce Transformation with our entry covering the broad range of work that has been undertaken to adapt the way we serve our communities and focusing on our efforts to give graduates a chance to gain the experience they need in the ever-evolving landscape of local government.

A nomination was also put forward by Council Leader Val Keitch for Alex Parmley in the Chief Executive of the Year category and Alex has today (23 July) been named as a finalist. The entry concentrated on the plans Alex put in place which have led to huge progress from the whole SSDC team in recent years from transforming the organisation and our commercial approach to a renewed focus on the development of staff and the regeneration of town centres.

Cllr Val Keitch said: “I am so extraordinarily proud of the work we do and the way that change has been embraced by this council which has made such a difference, leading to this council being recognised as one of the most forward-thinking authorities in the country.

“I felt Alex needed to be acknowledged for the way he has led this council and created a culture in which we are all driven to do the very best for our residents alongside developing professionally.

READ MORE: A strategy for recovery - how SSDC will help our communities recover from Covid-19

“I know Alex will be tremendously modest about being shortlisted but it really is recognition of how he, and the team he has put in place, is driving innovation. It is also a rich acknowledgement of how much has been achieved by the whole team at SSDC and I thank each and every officer for everything they do every day to make a difference for our communities. We remain totally focused on supporting our residents and leading the Coronavirus crisis recovery but recognition of the hard work being undertaken at all levels of this authority is a welcome reward during these highly unusual times.”

Chief Executive Alex Parmley said: “It is an honour to be nominated by the Leader for such an award and to then be shortlisted by the judges. It has been an eventful four years at South Somerset and whilst we still have lots to do within the organisation and for our communities, we have moved forward a long way to now be amongst the best councils in the country. This is down to the fantastic team at SSDC right throughout the organisation who have worked so hard and shown such commitment to the Council and the communities we serve. I am proud of the whole team and the recognition we are receiving reflects what they have achieved.”

The 2019 MJ Achievement Awards which took place at the Hilton Hotel, London, Park Lane and was hosted by Steph McGovern.

At the 2019 event, South Somerset District Council came in second place nationally having been highly commended in both the Best Commercial Council and Workforce Transformation categories at The MJ Awards.

Jo Williams, events manager for The MJ Awards, said: “Being shortlisted for an MJ Award not only allows local authorities to be recognised for the delivery of their services over the last 12 months, but it also allows them to share their expertise with their peers. Each category is judged by influential commentators from the private and public sectors giving their organisation the chance to illustrate its ability, ingenuity and performance.

“Every year without fail, the judges are impressed by the level of dedication and the practical, tangible outcomes they see in the submissions. To be commended or named as finalist promotes a local authority's achievements, but it also provides staff the recognition they deserve.”

The winners will be revealed at a virtual awards ceremony at 2pm on 2 October.

This latest success comes as the Council waits to learn if it will be the overall winner at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards 2020 in the Entrepreneurial Council category.

South Somerset District Council’s entry focused on the exciting developments launched through our commercial strategy including new investments, the new trading company, MoT centre and much more.

The winners of these awards will also be announced in October.

Earlier this year, SSDC featured in The MJ for its response to the Coronavirus crisis - you can see the article here - https://www.themj.co.uk/Superstars-delivering-in-the-face-of-adversity/217627

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