Swansea Council is in the running to be named the UK’s local authority of the year.
It’s on a shortlist of six councils that could take the title in the prestigious annual MJ Awards.
The Local Authority of the Year is due to be announced this summer. Swansea is the only Welsh authority shortlisted.
Swansea Council’s buildings services More Homes team is shortlisted in another category.
Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said:
“This is great news for the council and the city.
“It’s an honour to be shortlisted in this highly competitive scheme. It reaffirms that the efforts being made by everybody at the council on behalf of all residents and organisations are of genuinely high quality.
“I thank all those who’ve helped Swansea Council – including our More Homes team – to earn this recognition as one of the UK’s finest.”
At a time of ultra-tight finances, unprecedented crises and ever-changing service challenges for local authorities, Swansea Council says that its ambition is being delivered in an enthralling manner.
It says that it aims to thrive, serve and support its communities in an age of austerity whilst being the high-energy catalyst for an economic upturn.
Awards judges were impressed that the council was able to deliver the spectacular new Swansea Arena at the time of pandemic lockdowns.
A high-profile addition to a swiftly modernising cityscape, the council sees it as a symbol of regeneration work and improving council services.
Cllr Stewart said:
“This new stage for world-class performances was delivered with remarkable skill during seriously challenging times.
“At the same time, we continue to provide top class local service enhancements such as new schools, new events, new playgrounds and new cycle paths.
“Swansea Council does all that matters – and more. The Swansea Way is an approach that other councils are learning from.”
One of the council’s buildings services teams is shortlisted in the awards’ best council services team category.
The More Homes team has delivered five pilot housing schemes, culminating in six new semi-detached bungalows at The Circle, West Cross, two of which were built exclusively using apprentices where practically possible.
The MJ Awards celebrate success stories and recognise people in local government.
Winning an MJ Award acknowledges the effort of those in local government supporting local communities and facing challenges often in the face of adversity.
The Awards celebrate how councils make a positive difference in the communities they serve.
The MJ Awards Local Authority of the Year category highlights success across the organisation.
Those shortlisted are judged to be high-performing distinctive councils successfully rising to key challenges and excelling across major services.
Swansea Council in 2022-23
- Collected recycling from 105,000 homes a week.
- Completed a £550m homes improvement programme, delivering new kitchens and bathrooms for thousands of council tenants.
- Spent around £2m tackling fly-tipping and litter.
- Kept 163 parks and open spaces open for the public.
- Spent more than £90m looking after vulnerable people, including children.
- Opened two new schools as part of £150m investment in education improvements.
- Provided 146,500 grants worth £20m to help households cope with the cost of living.
- Completed 40 new children’s play areas as part of a £5m upgrade programme.
- Allowed tens of thousands to enjoy Wales’ first free bus services during school holidays.
- Made sure more than 10,000 children never went without their free school meals.