Nottingham City Council has been announced as a finalist in this year’s Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards. The council has been shortlisted for the prestigious council of the year award and for three further awards for excellence within service areas.

The awards are a valuable way for councils to celebrate achievements and best practice. Sharing success stories and experiences with other local authorities and organisations helps improve services for communities across the country.
Nottingham is shortlisted for the following awards:

Council of the Year – one of only nine councils nationwide to be put forward for this award. This award recognises councils that have shown leadership and innovation in a variety of service areas.

Best Renewable Energy or Energy Efficiency initiative – Energy Efficient Historic Buildings.
Heritage sites have been identified as key buildings to make substantial energy savings. Collaboration between Nottingham City Council’s Energy Services and its heritage teams has brought about energy saving innovations which balance the need between building conservation and energy conservation; safeguarding the buildings’ fabric and atmosphere whilst introducing new technologies to reduce energy demand, reduce running costs and protect the environment for future generations.

Best Service Team: Parks, Grounds and Horticultural Service – Nottingham’s Parks and Open Spaces service has reduced spending and increased income through many successful grant applications and a range of commercial enterprises, including opening Woodthorpe Park Plant Shop and supplying plants to other councils. A fantastic £36 million has been invested into parks since 2007 – the team now brings in two thirds of the cost of the service, and it is on track to become self-funding by 2020. The service has also now secured the most city Green Flags in the country, a fabulous 56 in total.

Best Service Team: Cemetery and Crematorium Service – A five-year transformation programme has created an efficient cemetery service focused on the needs of all cultures and has vastly improved environmental controls. Community involvement has helped create safe and pleasant sites for people and wildlife. An innovative Public Health Funerals service is offered to neighbouring councils.

Paul O’Brien, APSE Chief Executive, said, “Local government is currently facing many challenges, and the road ahead remains uncertain. These awards highlight that local councils are still determined to offer their communities excellent local services through developing exciting, innovative projects and new ways of working. These finalists are a credit to their councils and their communities, and should be proud of their excellent achievements.”

The winners will be announced at the APSE conference and awards in Oxford in September.