We’re delighted to have made history by becoming the first council to win the two most prestigious awards in local government in the same year.
BBC newsreader Huw Edwards announced Barnsley Council as the MJ Awards’ Local Authority of the Year at a ceremony in London on Friday 23 June. This follows our triumph at the Local Government Chronicle Awards earlier this month where we were crowned Council of the Year.
Both awards highlight Barnsley’s excellent reputation nationally and put our borough on the map as a place to live, work, shop and visit.
Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “This second major award in two weeks recognises the major changes seen in Barnsley over the last few years which are improving opportunities for local people.
“We’ve already heard so many people say how much they love the Glass Works and our amazing new town centre. It’s fantastic to have two sets of independent experts in local government, tell us just how impressed they are. People from all over the country are literally asking us ‘how have you done that?’.
“In both of these wins, it’s about so much more than the town centre. The judges have recognised we deliver high levels of service across the board compared to other areas, we spend less money than other areas, and we’re doing things which stand out.
“That includes bringing NHS services into the heart of our town centre making it easier than ever to get the vital checks that people need.
“It includes securing a multi-million investment in a new Northern Academy of Vocal Excellence, which will be the new home for the world-famous Barnsley Youth Choir.
“It includes bringing more and better-paid jobs through growing the digital sector and supporting our home-grown businesses, meaning for the first time in decades we have more job vacancies than we have people looking for work.”
The awards will help attract continued inward investment, both in terms of private sector investment and government, helping us create even more jobs. They will also help us recruit the best talent as we promote Barnsley as a great place to work.
Sarah Norman, Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, said: “The four years I’ve been here in Barnsley have been challenging, going through a pandemic, yet I’m so proud of what our staff, councillors, and partners have achieved.
“I’m particularly proud of the work with partners to improve people’s health and wellbeing, with amazing results. We’ve eliminated delayed discharges in adult social care, we’ve seen a 25% increase in breast screening, and halved the borough’s suicide rate.
“We gave the judges the opportunity to see for themselves the impact of our Area Council and Ward Alliance work, including the reach of Our More Money in Your Pocket programme to address the cost of living crisis. This has been used by more than a third of Barnsley residents this year.
“We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved not just for the council but for our partners and Barnsley and hope others can learn from our success.”