Association for Public Service Excellence
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Farewell Jan Kennedy

After 15 years as Head of APSE Training, Jan Kennedy is retiring. Since joining in 2005, Jan has been a tremendous asset to APSE. Her determination and focus over the years has ensured our training service has never been in better shape; delivering first-class courses to a whole range of council staff across the UK. Jan will be greatly missed by everyone within APSE and local government. We wish her a long, happy and fulfilling retirement. Click here to view APSE National Chair Cllr. Mark Pengelly’s farewell message to Jan.


APSE Local Government Commission 2030 – Evidence gathering stage launches on Monday 4 November

The evidence-gathering stage of the Commission – in which we will be seeking views from across the UK on how local government can meet the challenges of the future – will launch on Monday 4 November. Click here for more information about the Commission. 


Performance Networks Seminar 2019, 5-6 December, Grand Hotel, Blackpool – Book your place now to avoid disappointment!

We are delighted to announce details for one of our biggest events of the year. The Seminar will feature local, national and international perspectives on how to use performance data effectively. The Seminar will also include service-specific workshops and forums that will examine what benchmarking data is telling us about managing reduced budgets, generating income, and improving service performance. For anyone involved in local authority frontline service delivery, this event is not to be missed. Tickets sell fast! Click here for programme and booking information.


Winning in Nottingham!

APSE are delighted to announce the winners of the APSE Refuse and Recycling, Streetscene and Parks Innovation Awards 2019, as well as the Horticulture Apprentice of the Year and Streetscene Apprentice of the Year 2019 Awards.

  • Lewis Rennie, Perth and Kinross Council (Horticulture Apprentice)
  • Adam Cook, Flintshire County Council (Streetscene Apprentice – kindly sponsored by Scarab Sweepers)
  • Newcastle City Council, WasteBot (Refuse and Recycling Innovation – kindly sponsored by Wamitab)
  • Brent Council, The Brent Bee Corridor (Parks Innovation – kindly sponsored by APSE Solutions)
  • Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd, Creating the Site Enhancement Team (Streetscene Innovation - kindly sponsored by Sulo)

The winners were announced at the APSE Refuse, Recycling, Streetscene, Grounds and Parks Seminar 2019 in Nottingham on 24 October. Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists!


APSE in Aberdeen for the Scottish National Party Conference

APSE hosted a fringe event on the topic of the Climate Emergency at the SNP conference. The fringe explored both the policy aspects of climate change alongside practical issues which local authorities could adopt to respond. This covered issues such as financial planning, frontline services, energy efficiency, renewables, low emission zones, sustainable travel and air quality. The event was chaired by Chair of APSE Scotland Cllr. Les Sharp, and included the speakers: APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien; Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People; Cllr, Natalie Don, Renfrewshire Council; and Cllr. Mark Flynn, Dundee City Council.


APSE Climate Change and Renewable Energy Network

We have recently updated our APSE national Advisory Group to reflect even more features and topics on climate change; the updated Network will now consider a whole range of topics to support councils in the practical, operational and strategic implementation of actions to tackle climate change issues alongside support and advice on developing  renewable energy through municipal schemes. You can register to attend this group by clicking here. The inaugural meeting of the Networks will be held at APSE’s headquarters in Old Trafford Manchester on the 26 November 2019. It is FREE to attend and lunch and refreshments will be provided.


APSE Energy is also hosting two events in November. One of which explores climate change approaches, impacts and emergencies and is being held in association with Southampton City Council in Southampton. The other is a Warrington day, looking at the innovative approach to green investment taken by Warrington Borough Council, and is being held in Manchester. Both of these events are free to attend for APSE Energy members. You can register for these events by clicking here.


Parks Action Group
APSE Chief Executive attended a Parks Action Group meeting in London on Wednesday 23 October. The meeting was about considering a draft business case for parks that has been developed as a submission to Government on funding requirements for the next Comprehensive Spending Review. The meeting also saw Paul, as Chair of PAG’s Knowledge and Skills workstream, push hard for a commitment to resourcing of a ‘greenprint’ on skills for parks management for the next decade. For more information on relevant briefings, research, seminars and APSE’s role in PAG, click here.


Latest Briefing:

  • State of the Market 2019: Building Maintenance and Repairs. The survey covers a range of issues of interest to officers and councillors responsible for building maintenance and repairs services. Click here to read online.


New APSE Approved Partner – GovPlanet

GovPlanet is the place for local authorities and emergency services to sell their surplus vehicles and equipment. Benefiting from 20 years in the business of online auctions, GovPlanet helps public bodies generate higher returns from their end-of-life vehicles and equipment – especially for specialist vehicles, which tend to perform poorly in a live auction. Click here to learn more about this exciting new partnership.


New APSE Energy Approved Partners

APSE are delighted to welcome the following organisations to our Approved Partner scheme:

  • Kensa Contracting

Kensa Contracting is an award-winning specialist delivery partner and contractor for fifth generation district heating with ambient shared ground loop arrays and ground source heat pumps. A three-time H&V News Award winner for district heating schemes, Kensa Contracting is renowned for its innovative fifth generation district heating systems featuring ambient shared ground loop arrays and ground source heat pumps. Click here for more information about this exciting new partnership.


GRIDSERVE are a sustainable energy business focused on delivering solar energy and energy storage solutions for critical power infrastructure across grid power, electric vehicle power and remote power applications. GRIDSERVE are the 2019 UK solar power technology and market leaders, delivering over 60MWp of the UK’s most technically advanced hybrid solar projects, developed, constructed, and financed by GRIDSERVE, and acquired by Warrington Borough Council after completion. Click here for more information about this exciting new partnership.


APSE Direct – September/October

The latest edition of APSE Direct is available to read online. This special Service Awards edition includes the articles:

  • A Report Back from the Annual Seminar 2019;
  • Permitted development rights a potential threat to the health and wellbeing of residents – Fiona Howie, TCPA;
  • Insourcing domiciliary care – Pembrokeshire County Council;
  • Transforming local parks – Liz Stuffins, Dudley Borough Council;
  • An introduction to the APSE Local Government Commission 2030

Click here to read to read online!


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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