Friday, 13 March 2015

Brent wins LGC Award for Innovation

The London Borough of Brent picked up the Innovation award at the recent Local Government Chronicle Awards. Over 900 of the most senior figures in British local government gathered to celebrate achievements and best practice across the sector.  After review by a panel of judges, made up of senior and influential figures from the private and public sectors, the London Borough of Brent was presented with the Innovation award. The judges said that our submission impressed with the level of enthusiasm that has been dedicated to this simple, yet innovative solution to a real problem. The panel could see that the project has a sincere desire to improve people’s lives.

The Early Years Flexible Childminding Pool project involves the council working with Job Centre Plus and local childminders to enable families to access affordable, quality-assured childminding services.  All local families can use the pool but it is of particular benefit to parents with atypical working patterns or who need access to care unexpectedly.  The project is a zero-extra cost, direct response to local need and is making a real difference to the lives of local people.

The judges commented: “The flexible childminder pool provides a very simple and innovative solution to a real problem that a lot of people can relate to. The judges could see the project’s trigger being a sincere desire to improve people’s lives, rather than focusing on the financial aspect only. Additionally, the financial costs to set it up are minimal in comparison with the benefits.”

A record number of organisations entered this year’s awards and the competition was stiffer than ever as councils use their innovation to strive to improve services at a time they must cut costs.

(by Gail Tolley)

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