Council up for ‘most improved’ award

Trevor Holden, LBC chief executive
Trevor Holden, LBC chief executive

Luton Borough Council is on the shortlist for the ‘most improved council’ category at prestigious local government awards.

The 2014 Local Government Chronicle Awards recognise service improvement, excellence and innovation.

LBC is again a finalist in the awards which will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, on March 12.

Chief executive Trevor Holden said: ““Being back in the running for 2014 is really encouraging. It demonstrates that after another challenging year for local government Luton Borough Council continues to be seen as a forward-looking authority.

“It is the hard work of our staff and their commitment to improve services to the people of Luton that has brought us this recognition once again among our industry colleagues.”

A council spokesman said Luton’s submission highlights the council’s efforts to secure the best possible future for people amid the ongoing national spending reductions by publishing a ‘Prospectus for Luton’ outlining its commitment to improving learning, supporting the vulnerable and nurturing business.

Continued improvement in the collection of council tax to 96.2 per cent and efforts to minimise the impact of changes to the welfare system through initiatives such as helping people move to more appropriate sized housing are also highlighted.

Major infrastructure projects to “regenerate the borough” including the Luton Dunstable Busway and works improving M1 Junction 10a and the inner ring road are mentioned in the report.

Luton’s bid also showcases the innovative scheme to share its chief executive with two non-neighbouring district authorities and its New Homes for Luton programme which aims to build 450 social housing units.

The authority has also built its first new council homes in 20 years.

Mr Holden added: “Luton has demonstrated a sustained and prolonged improvement rather than a set of quick fixes to short-term or urgent problems. We are hopeful of going one better in the awards this year.”