Council in the running for top award

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News release: 19 April 2017

St Albans City and District Council is on the shortlist for a top award that “celebrates the very best in local government”.

MJ Awards logo
The Council is one of just five local authorities that have made it to the final of the Senior Leadership Team category at The MJ Achievement Awards 2017.

It received the accolade for the innovative work it has undertaken in the recruitment and retention of staff.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, on Thursday 15 June.

Founded in 2004, The MJ Awards is one of the biggest events in the public sector calendar.

Organiser The MJ - formerly known as The Municipal Journal - is a leading online and print magazine that covers management issues affecting local government.

Councillor Julian Daly, the Council’s Leader, said: “It is a tremendous honour to be a finalist for such a prestigious award.

“This award category focuses on the role played by the Council’s leading officers in delivering important public services to the community and embracing change.

“More than 400 local authorities across the UK were entitled to enter, so our team has done exceptionally well to be shortlisted.

“Our approach to recruiting qualified professionals in a very competitive job market and bringing on individuals through apprenticeships and other schemes caught the judges’ eye.

“It is very encouraging that this excellent work has been recognised by our shortlisting in the MJ Awards. Hopefully, we can now go one better and win it.”

Three representatives from the Council will make a last pitch along with the other finalists to the category’s formidable judging panel on Wednesday 3 May.

Among the panel are Javed Khan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Barnardo's, Mark Lloyd, the Local Government Association’s CEO and Julie Towers, recruitment consultant Penna’s Managing Director.

The other members are Joanne Roney, CEO of Wakefield Council, Lesley Seary, CEO of the London Borough of Islington and Rob Tinlin, CEO of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Last year, the Council developed a response to a significant staff recruitment and retention challenge.

It targeted qualified local people who were fed up with the daily commute to London and wanted to work closer to home. 

An advertising campaign designed to appeal to them was developed with digital posters placed at London St Pancras rail station platforms. There were also adverts on commercial radio and YouTube videos made by existing staff. 

The Growing-Our-Own initiative included the creation of 40 apprenticeships in areas such planning. It also provided existing staff with opportunities to acquire new skills and develop their careers. 

Now the Council runs training schemes for school leavers, recent graduates, managers and potential leaders from its workforce. 

In shaping its new approach, the Council has worked in partnership with other organisations including Oaklands College and the University of Hertfordshire. 

As a result, there has been a dramatic improvement in the Council’s ability to fill vacancies and hold onto its staff. Unplanned turnover fell from 14% in the year 2015/16 to less than 5% in the first half of 2016/17. 

Councillor contact: 
Cllr Julian Daly, Leader of St Albans City and District Council and Portfolio Holder for Resources.
Mob: 07775 657200 

Media contact: 
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 01727-296130