We’re delighted to announce that we’ve won the prestigious Council of the Year Award (sponsored by Zurich Municipal) at last night’s Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.
This award recognises our strong performance, innovation, excellent leadership and approach to partnership working. We’re proud to be a place that others can learn from and be inspired by in Barnsley. It acknowledges us as the best council in the country in 2022/23.
The judges recognised 2022-2023 has been an outstanding year for Barnsley, creating a new economic future for residents, transforming our town centre, and supporting and enabling communities to do things you wouldn’t have thought possible.
Our town centre is thriving, with our footfall a third higher than before the pandemic. It’s attracting shoppers and visitors not only from our communities but also from neighbouring boroughs. In the past year, we ranked sixth in combined footfall and spend recovery compared to other towns and cities in the country.
Projects such as our Principal Towns and local centres investment programme are boosting local economies and contributing to the success of our high streets.
Our brave decisions to release sites for employment growth and our work to support business growth and investment are also paying off with for the first time in three decades more job vacancies than people looking for work
We’ve taken proactive steps to improve people’s health and wellbeing, resulting in remarkable achievements. For example, our NHS Community Diagnostics Centre has addressed low rates of early diagnosis by making vital health checks more accessible. We’ve eliminated delayed discharges from hospital and have the highest rate of satisfaction with Adult Social Care services in the country.
Additionally, our stop smoking services are the second-best nationally for helping people to quit smoking, and the success of our zero-suicide work has helped to reduce suspected suicides by 49%.
Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “Winning this award is truly an amazing achievement for Barnsley.
“When austerity hit, we took brave decisions early on and despite losing a higher percentage of our budget than almost every other council in the country, we were able to change the way we worked, invest in our borough, and we’ve developed an enviable reputation for good budget management.
“The judges had the opportunity to see for themselves the impact our Area Council and Ward Alliance work including the reach of our More Money in Your Pocket work to address the cost of living crisis, and our commitment to increasing opportunities for our young people.
“Describing Barnsley as the Place of Possibilities is not just a vision or a phrase. It sums up how Barnsley has reinvented itself. Our transformation has been built on a great foundation of strong partnerships, a real understanding of our communities and the hard work, dedication and vision of our employees.”
Sarah Norman, Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured that we’ve been awarded this prestigious award.
“This significant milestone acknowledges the collective efforts we’ve made to improve the lives of our residents, drive positive change and build inclusive communities.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to our outstanding employees, elected members, and our partners for their invaluable contributions. Together, we have navigated challenges, embraced innovation, and delivered exceptional services.”
The council faced stiff competition with over 50 councils nominated and a shortlist of Buckinghamshire Council, Cornwall Council, Inverclyde Council, Salford City Council and West Lindsey District Council.