By taking back control over its waste and recycling services, Liverpool City Council has been able to work towards achieving its goal of a 55% recycling rate by 2020. Councillor Steve Munby noted how since these services were brought back in-house ‘we have greater flexibility in our operations and we see city centre recycling as a priority’. The council has managed to put recycling facilities in Liverpool city centre apartment blocks for the first time – something the private sector had insisted was too difficult to do.
In response to the shortage of social workers across England, Buckinghamshire County Council stepped in to expand the number of in-house, experienced staff in the area. The council offers competitive salaries and a development programme to experienced social workers. Between 2014 and 2016, the council reduced its dependency on agency staff from 37% to 20%, taking back profits and control for the public.
Cumbria County Council’s response to the winter 2015/16 floods shows that public ownership is the best option in times of crisis. The council’s decision to bring its Highway and Housing services back in-house proved crucial during the floods, as the council was able to respond in an efficient and flexible way to the damage caused. The council could take action without the setbacks caused by outsourcing contract disputes.
In Slough, the council has cancelled its private contract for waste and created a new council-owned company to provide the service instead. The council found that it could save more money by insourcing than by outsourcing. The new company will deal with waste and recycling from December 2017, and can bid for commercial contracts to top up its income. The council has set itself a target of recycling 60% of its waste by 2028.
Robin Hood Energy is the first council-owned energy company in the UK. It’s a not-for-profit energy company which challenges the profit-making logic of the ‘big six’ energy firms by helping its customers to keep their tariffs low. Its mission is to provide low cost energy to households in Nottingham and beyond. No shareholders. No director bonuses.
Bristol Energy is the second energy company set up by a local authority. Unlike the major energy companies, Bristol Energy reinvests its profits into the local community and helps their customers to save money by reducing energy consumption with the Smart meter trial. Bristol Energy also offers the option of a 100% renewable electricity tariff, highlighting a forward-thinking approach to public ownership.
In the 2016 UK Bus Awards, Reading scooped up the winning gold award in three categories: Top Shire Operator, the Environment Award and Putting Passengers First. Reading Buses runs some of the greenest buses in the UK and together with the council has been investing in the latest fuel technology to make the city cleaner and greener. Its ‘Planet Reading’ initiative encourages employees to think about their impact on the environment.
Nottingham City Transport has been named UK Bus Operator of the Year for a record-breaking fourth time, as well as Top City Operator. It boasts an impressive customer satisfaction rate of 97%. The company’s modern, frequent buses have encouraged people to get back on the bus – bus passenger numbers have gone up in Nottingham since 2001 (while declining elsewhere).
In partnership with Local Gov, we're happy to announce our first ever Local Public Ownership Awards, to celebrate councils running brilliant services in-house.
Do you know a council that deserves an award for its inspiring public ownership? Please email the following information to email@example.com
- A summary of your example (no less than a sentence, no more than 80 words)
- A link to further information online
- A photo (if you have one)
The deadline for entries is Sunday 30th April. The public will vote to decide the winners of the gold, silver and bronze awards.
(We reserve the right to decide whether entries will be included in the final list.)