Staff working for Nottingham City Council’s Parks and Transport teams have been nationally acclaimed for their work.

Parks, Grounds and Horticulture and Transport and Fleet Maintenance were named as Best Service Teams of the Year.

The announcement was made during The Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Awards 2020, which are staged every year to showcase and recognise the very best in local government frontline services across the UK.

This year, frontline workers have been in the spotlight as they kept vital services running during the coronavirus pandemic.

The City Council’s staff have been no exception, with everyone from bin crews to carers, street cleaners to community protection officers applauded by the communities they serve for their efforts in very difficult circumstances.

Six teams from the authority were nominated, with Nottingham winners being:

Best Service Team: Parks, Grounds & Horticultural Service

This team leads the Council’s ambitions for the cleanliness and environmental upkeep of the city’s parks and urban spaces. The team engages closely with partners and volunteers from local communities and is highly effective at attracting new funding to bring further improvements to the city’s much-loved open spaces. Innovative new projects have captured the imagination of the city and gained considerable support.

Best Service Team: Transport & Fleet Maintenance Service

The council’s Passenger Transport service has gone from a position where outsourcing was considered to be one of the cheapest providers of adult and special educational needs transport in the country. Alongside these changes, customer service has been improved and five of the first fully-electric minibuses in the UK have been introduced. An efficient, high-quality, low-emission service is provided and, despite continued challenges within the social care sector, the council is committed to providing an exemplary service which meets the customers’ needs.

Also nominated were:

  • Street Cleansing and Streetscene Service (Public Realm): Best Service Team
  • Cemetery and Crematorium Service: Best Service Team
  • Best Climate Action Initiative (carbon-neutral action plan)
  • Best Commercialisation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (Workplace Parking Levy)

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “I’m delighted that the outstanding efforts of our workers has been recognised on a national stage at these prestigious awards.

“Council staff have worked extremely hard for the people of Nottingham this year throughout a global pandemic, in partnership with colleagues across other public-sector organisations.

“We had six APSE nominations and I’m really pleased that the innovative work of our Transport and Fleet team was rewarded, as well as our excellent parks which have been so important to Nottingham people during this pandemic.

“I would like to thank these teams for their exemplary efforts and for all our frontline staff who have shown so magnificently throughout past few months how dedicated they are to providing the best possible service to the people of Nottingham.”

Mel Barrett, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, said: “I’d like to congratulate our two winning teams for their success, as well as pay tribute to the efforts of those who were nominated and the wider council staff for their continued efforts.

“Having spent time on the frontline when I joined the authority in September, I know how hard they work for the people of Nottingham – indeed a large proportion were born and raised here so it’s more than a job for many. There’s a clear sense of civic pride and responsibility there too.

“But we won’t rest on our laurels. We know there is much work ahead of us in 2021 as we emerge from the Covid crisis and continue the city’s recovery. I know that we have a dedicated workforce which Nottingham people can rely on to deliver key frontline services that matter to them.”