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Council wins national public service award

A North East council has been recognised for its commercialisation and entrepreneurship at a national awards ceremony.

Durham County Council was selected as a finalist in two categories at this year’s Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards, which celebrates achievements in local government.

Its commercial services team saw an evening of success, having been crowned winners of Best Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship Initiative for their work to commercialise, retain and grow the council’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) incomes.

The council has worked collaboratively to develop a professional commercial approach to SLA retention and growth across multiple sectors – an agreement which sets out expectations between the service provider and the customer.

The council offers over 70 different SLAs to its customers ranging from payroll, pest control, ICT support to educational teaching support.

Cllr Susan McDonnell, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for digital, customer services and procurement, said: “We are delighted to have been so successful in this year’s APSE Awards. The national award is extremely competitive, with more than 300 submissions from local authorities across the UK. Having been recognised in two categories demonstrates the level of achievement our teams make across County Durham.”

The council was also shortlisted for Best Climate Action and Decarbonisation Initiative for its project to decarbonise its Morrison Busty depot and significantly reduce the county’s carbon emissions.

The £8.3 million site was officially opened last month with low carbon features such as the creation of a large-scale solar farm and battery storage to meet all its electricity needs, including powering its electric vehicle fleet.

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