Association for Public Service Excellence
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APSE Service Awards 2020 – Call for entries!

These Awards, designed to recognise excellence in local government frontline services, are eagerly anticipated by councils across the UK. They specifically highlight local councils that have embraced change, innovation and best practice in order to continually offer outstanding services, despite budget cuts. This year, we have introduced a new category – Best Climate Action initiative. Register your interest before the 13 March deadline. Visit the APSE website for more information and to register your interest.


APSE Local Government Commission 2030 – Oral Evidence-Gathering Sessions

The APSE Local Government Commission 2030 has now entered into its second stage of evidence gathering. This stage includes obtaining oral evidence from respondents to the written Call for Evidence who the Commissioners believe will provide further expert evidence and support the differing lines of inquiry identified by the Commission.

On 11-12 February, APSE held its first evidence-gathering sessions at the Congress Centre in Central London. A diverse range of expert witnesses– LGA, WLGA, NILGA, TCPA, LGiU, IPPR North, NAC, Fawcett Society, UNITE, PPMA, NPI, Unison, SOCITM, NPC, NALC – were invited to provide evidence over the course of the two days. The Commission would like to thank them all for their important contributions, and we look forward to bringing together their expert insight and recommendations in order to ensure the sector has a sustainable future.

The Commission are still welcoming written submissions - those who submit a written Call for Evidence are more likely to be invited to provide further evidence at future oral evidence-gathering sessions. If you want to make sure your voice is head in the future of local government, please download a questionnaire from the APSE website. For more information about how you can engage with the Commission, please email algc@apse.org.uk.


Conservative Councillors’ Association Local Government Conference 2020

APSE will be hosting two workshops – both chaired by Leader of West Lindsey District Council Cllr Giles McNeill - at the CCA Local Government Conference in Leicestershire 28 February:

  1. APSE Local Government Commission: Local Government Finance and Future Structures, 3.20 – 4.05pm
  2. APSE Local Government Commission: Sustainability and the Local Environment, 4.10 – 5.00pm

APSE will also be hosting a plenary on the morning of 29 February - Conservative Councillors: What does the APSE Local Government Commission 2030 mean to you! - seeking the views of Conservative Councillors on the issues that matter for the future of local government including future finance and structures, and the big public policy issues such as housing, an ageing population, and future environmental sustainability. Chaired by Cllr. McNeill, this session will also include former Chair of the LGA and APSE Local Government Commissioner 2030 Lord Porter as a guest speaker. If you are attending the Conference, we look forward to seeing you there!


APSE at the Northern Ireland Local Government Association Conference 2030

APSE are delighted to once again sponsor the NILGA Conference 2020 and Local Government Awards Northern Ireland 2020 on 20 February in Belfast. Mo Baines, our APSE lead for Northern Ireland, will be on hand at our exhibition stand with any of your queries. APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien chaired Session 2 – Our Future Environment: Climate, Councils and Communities – discussing the role of council frontline services in tackling the climate emergency.

As part of the APSE Local Government Commission 2030 evidence-gathering process, APSE are hosting a special evidence session for Northern Ireland local government to further inform the work of the Commission. This will take place at the Crowne Plaza Belfast on Friday 21 February commencing at 10.00am and ending with a networking lunch at 12.30pm. This evidence gathering session will take place the day after the NILGA conference and the Northern Ireland Local Government Awards which should assist attendance by those already at the Crowne Plaza following that event. Please confirm your attendance by booking here online or by email to Stephen Cull on scull@apse.org.uk


APSE Scotland Building & Housing Apprentice Awards 2020 – Announcing the winners!

APSE are delighted to announce the winners of the APSE Scotland Building & Housing Apprentice Awards 2020. The Awards – kindly sponsored by Jordan Electrics Ltd - celebrate the hard work and exceptional accomplishments of apprentices in the housing and building sector. The competition this year was tough but after careful deliberation, the following were successful:


  • First Year Trade - Puskar Bhandari, Heating Engineer (South Ayrshire Council)
  • Second Year Trade - Dylan Allan, Joiner (Fife Council)
  • Third Year Trade - Christie Brogan, Electrician (East Lothian Council)
  • Fourth Year Trade - Grant MacGregor, Electrician (Fife Council)
  • Non-Trade - Aidan Maguire, Modern Apprentice Construction Management (East Dunbartonshire Council)

Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists. Click here for the full list of those shortlisted.


Latest Briefings

  • Local authority new build programmes and lifting the HRA borrowing caps – What is the potential and what are the constraints? This briefing sets out an overview of The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) latest report. Click here to read online.
  • Alcohol, drug and substance misuse policies – why you should introduce one and what it should include. This briefing summarises some of the approaches taken by councils. Click here to read online.
  • Ash Dieback Guidance. This short briefing note hopes to provide some assistance for members with regards to providing background to the disease as well as advice on helping tree managers. Click here to read online.
  • Trend Analyses 2018/19. These briefings provide details on the performance information available from APSE’s performance networks service; looking at performance indicators and current policy issues for councils who deliver:


APSE Soft Facilities Management Innovation Awards – Announcing the winners!

APSE are delighted to present the winners of our inaugural Soft FM Innovation Awards; celebrating outstanding local councils that use innovative ideas and solutions to tackle the current challenges facing their frontline soft facilities management services. Congratulations to the winners:

  • Building Cleaning - Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  • Catering – Dudley Council
  • Green Innovation – Telford & Wrekin Council

Click here for more information and to view photographs of the winners.


Amenities Forum in Edinburgh

On 4 February, APSE Principal Advisor Wayne Priestley spoke at a specially convened conference focussing on the challenges and opportunities in the amenity sector, held in Edinburgh. Wayne discussed the challenges local authorities in the UK are facing regards weed management amidst growing concerns about human and environmental health.


APSE State of the Market Surveys – We want your opinion

APSE’s short surveys include a range of questions that will enable a valuable snapshot to be gained of the following local authority services:


Approved Partner News - GovPlanet is now GPSV

Effective from 1 February 2020, there are some changes to let you know about when it comes to re-selling your plant and equipment with APSE Approved Partner GovPlanet. GovPlanet has been re-branded as Government, Plant and Specialist Vehicles – GPSV.  Same team, same service, same great re-sales returns. For more information about their excellent service and products click here.


APSE at Unison

APSE’s Mo Baines attended a Unison Conference in London on 6 February to discuss the 2019 General election and what local authorities can expect from the newly elected Government. A briefing on this topic is available to download for free from the APSE website.


APSE services round-up
APSE Performance Networks continues with its systems improvements, new services and is now transitioning to the new portal. Click here for more details. APSE Energy’s  ‘Big Energy Summit’ with key note speakers including BEIS is once again taking place in March. Click here for details. APSE Training has a newly developed course on Carbon Literacy email Fiona Sutton-Wilson at fsuttonwilson@apse.org.uk for details. APSE Solutions has a new cohort of expert Interim Managers ready to fill gaps before the financial year end. To access the service email Emma Taylor at etaylor@apse.org.uk.


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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