City of Wolverhampton Council cleans up at MJ Awards
Authority wins four awards – including Excellence in Governance and Scrutiny
Impressive efforts in setting up governance of West Midlands Combined Authority recognised
At a glittering ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London, the City of Wolverhampton Council won four awards of the fourteen on offer, including Local Authority of the Year, as well as receiving the top scrutiny and governance prize which has been sponsored by CfGS for the second year in a row. The council had an excellent evening also winning the Senior Leadership Team of the Year award and Most Improved Council.
They fought of fierce competition from many other organisations that submitted to the Excellence in Governance and Scrutiny category, but were chosen unanimously by the judges for their impressive efforts in designing a governance framework which covers a huge area, encompasses many organisation and councils and did so in an incredibly short time period.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has secured the biggest devolution deal in the country, with around £8bn of investment and devolution of adult skills, employment and transport. WMCA aims to deliver half a million new jobs, 1.9 million homes and attract 20,000 businesses to the area.
The City of Wolverhampton Governance Team were tasked from the outset with setting up the WMCA. They had to formulate the governance and scrutiny arrangements which covered seven local authorities and three Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas. They achieved all this in only 18 months and despite the time frame significant local consultation and engagement took place – ensuring that the new body was established in a democratic manner.
The arrangements were also cleverly future proofed to allow for future expansion and growth. As well as successfully negotiating the terms of their devolution deal its success is further marked by the fact that WMCA now encompasses eighteen local authorities and four LEPs.
Jacqui McKinlay, Chief Executive of CfGS, said following the announcement of the winner:
“The judging panel and I were hugely impressed by the quality of entries, particularly those shortlisted.
The City of Wolverhampton Council showed how a small but determined governance team can play its part in making a new combined authority area work transparently and involve others. They had their work cut out in terms of playing catch-up and getting consensus across lots of different parties. The governance team showed creativity and resilience.”
Well done to all the finalists who submitted excellent examples to the award. They were:
Buckinghamshire CC/Northamptonshire CC/Oxfordshire CC (England’s Economic Heartland)
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
South West Audit Partnership Ltd (a public sector partnership)
Southend Borough Council