Association for Public Service Excellence
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Wednesday 11 – Thursday 12 September

APSE Annual Seminar 2019 in Newcastle (including the APSE AGM and APSE Annual Service Awards Charity Dinner)


APSE Direct – April/May

The latest edition of APSE Direct is available to read online. Articles include:

  • Not nineteen forever: APSE at 20 - Heather Jameson, Editor of the MJ, shares her thoughts on the dramatic changes that have occurred in local government since APSE’s inception in 1999;
  • Dundee leading the charge to an Electric Vehicle city - Cllr Lynne Short, Dundee City Council;
  • There’s Nuplace like home -Katherine Kynaston, Director of Nuplace, discusses tackling the housing crisis in Telford & Wrekin;
  • Thinking big at APSE’s Big Energy Summit – Charlotte Banks, APSE Energy Research and Projects Officer, reports back from our biggest Summit yet;
  • What’s in store at Aviemore? – A look ahead to the APSE Scotland, Fleet, Waste and Grounds Seminar 2019 (You can still book your place at the event here).

Click here to read to read online!


Insourcing: APSE’s latest research will be launched on Thursday 30 May at the Congress Centre London.

Exploring the prevalence of insourcing to deliver efficiencies, better services and improve service quality insourcing is an increasingly popular option. As big contractors continue to fail this seminar and learning event explores the public policy context, legal and TUPE issues, case study councils and practical solutions to enable insourcing. Click here for more information.


Don’t forget to update your APSE details

Now is a good time for APSE contacts to make sure you are kept up to date with APSE news, events and services for our member councils. You can update your details using this link and don’t forget to update us on any councillor changes post the May elections!


Parks Action Group

APSE together with MHCLG hosted a roundtable event at De Montfort University on Thursday 2 May to consider the findings of a draft report ‘Nurturing skills for 21st century parks’, which APSE was commissioned to deliver by MHCLG’s Parks Action Group(PAG). This work is part of the PAG’s Skills and Knowledge work stream, which APSE’s chief executive Paul O’Brien, chairs. As part of the development of a ‘greenprint’ for skills and knowledge for the parks sector for the next decade, the PAG, through APSE, will be consulting on a roll out plan for a new competencies framework and the creation of a career path for the parks sector. The PAG reports to Parks Minster Rushi Sunak, MP, providing advice on the future of parks including funding and skills.  For more details Contact Wayne Priestley on wpriestley@apse.org.uk.


MJ Future Forum

APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien was a guest at the The MJ Future Forum which took place at Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire on 11 -12 April. The Forum gives local authority chief executives the opportunity to consider some of the major issues affecting local government over the next 12-18 months. The Forum looked at major issues including the Spending Review, the Spring Statement, care and health integration, children’s services, financial resilience – and the impact of Brexit.


BEIS Local Energy Team

APSE Energy has a new web page dedicated to the Local Energy Team that sits within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Some areas of the UK have made huge strides towards developing a local low carbon economy. The Local Energy Hub contains case studies on a range of local energy projects, which have addressed specific local needs and demonstrate what local areas can achieve when they work together. Click here for more information on energy projects involving Bristol City Council and Nottingham City Council.


Mr Benn

In his latest piece for The MJ, APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien reminds us of the magical world of Mr Benn (the bowler-hatted cartoon character for those who don’t remember) and how the current crop of chief officers - those who report directly to chief executives - often find themselves in a Mr Benn-like world. Click here to read the online article [PAYWALL]


The Local Government Physical Activity Partnership

The Partnership - consisting of Community Leisure UK, Active Partnerships, Local Government Association, Sport England, the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association and APSE - aims to underline the social and economic value of physical activity and the vital role the public sector plays in driving better physical outcomes. Our first think piece explores the need for a strong over-arching policy position across the sector, as well as the issues of integration of physical activity across both traditional and non-traditional platforms. You can read more about the Partnership here.


Northern Ireland Local Government Awards

A slight change of timetable this year to the Northern Ireland Local Government Awards means submissions this year will open at the beginning of June. Look out for the details on the APSE website. The awards will now run into 2020 when the winners will be announced at the Nilga Annual Seminar which will be held on 20 February in Belfast. The Northern Ireland Local Government Awards are increasingly popular and provide an opportunity for APSE and NILGA members in Northern Ireland to showcase their journeys to excellence in public service delivery and innovation. For more details email Mo Baines on mbaines@apse.org.uk


SNP Conference

APSE Scotland exhibited at the SNP conference which took place on the 27 -28 April at the EICC in Edinburgh. As well as exhibiting APSE hosted a fringe event on the theme of new municipalism with speakers including Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Cllr Elena Whitham, Deputy Leader of East Ayrshire Council, Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive of APSE.


Opening doors

The international Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative aims to secure commitments from governments around the world to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In 2016, Scotland was selected as one of 15 pioneer governments around the world to join a programme to bring new leadership and innovation into the OGP at all levels of government. The inaugural meeting of the OCGP took place in April 2019 and was attended by Louise Melville, APSE Scotland’s Principal Advisor and Cllr Les Sharp, APSE Scotland’s Chair.


A Truncated Matter…

Trunk Road Litter operational workshop – Following the ongoing correspondence and meetings with Scottish Government and Transport Scotland on the issues of litter operations on Trunk Roads an operational workshop meeting will take place in Aviemore for APSE member local authorities with Transport Scotland and representatives from the Scottish Government. The aim is to develop ways in which the issues of Trunk Road litter can be effectively dealt with between the interested parties.


Scottish Conservatives Conference, 3 - 4 May 2019, Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre

APSE held an exhibition stand at the conference with speakers including the Prime Minister Theresa May, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell and Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives.


Upcoming seminars and advisory group dates

Seminars / Energy Seminars / Advisory groups: National, Wales, Northern Ireland Scotland, Southern,


APSE Training courses

Click here for the full list of current APSE Training courses.



Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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