NPTBuyLocal, set up by Neath Port Talbot Council to link communities with businesses providing much needed deliveries and support during the Covid-19 pandemic has won a prestigious national award.
The innovative council scheme – centred around an online directory – won the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) Award for the Best Public/Private Working Initiative in Britain during 2021.
As well as the win for NPTBuyLocal, Neath Port Talbot Council also came close to winning the Overall Council of the Year Award being one of just seven British councils shortlisted for the accolade which was won by Telford and Wrekin Council.
Neath Port Talbot Council was also shortlisted for three other service awards at the APSE Annual Charity Awards ceremony in Birmingham on Thursday, September 9th (in aid of Parkinson’s UK). These were :
- Best Collaborative Working Initiative (with other public sector or third sector) – The Immbulance mobile vaccination vehicle (Neath Port Talbot Council working in partnership with Swansea Bay University Health Board)
- Best Service Team: Facilities Management and Building Cleaning Service – NPT Council Access Managed Services (Cleaning Services).
- Best Service Team: The council’s Cemetery and Crematorium Service.
The council entered award submissions in a total of nine categories and individual other award submissions unsuccessful in the categories in which they were entered, still contributed to the council successfully reaching the shortlist for the Overall Council of the Year Award.
These included submissions from the council’s Education Welfare and Wellbeing and Behaviour services and the council’s team which delivered the NPTSafe&Well service.
The APSE Awards are specific to frontline services provided by councils in the UK. The awards are agreed by a panel of expert judges. This year, the awards included 22 categories, covering the vast majority of local services, as well as the Overall Council of the Year in Service Delivery Award.
Paul O’Brien, APSE’s Chief Executive said: “On behalf of everyone at APSE I would like to say a massive thank you to all of our finalists – you are a credit to the communities you serve.”
Cllr Leanne Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Deputy Leader said: “We want to thank our residents for the great resilience and community spirit shown during the pandemic and for working with the council and supporting initiatives such as NPTBuyLocal – something which thoroughly deserves wider recognition.”
Neath Port Talbot Council Chief Executive Karen Jones added: “To be have been one of just seven councils shortlisted for Overall Council of the Year during the turbulent 12 months we have all just been through is a real tribute to our staff’s dedication and commitment to keeping essential services going for our local communities, residents and businesses in, to say the least, challenging times.
“I know that many members of the public showed their appreciation when our staff were out keeping these essential services going and that was very much appreciated – the APSE Award for NPTBuyLocal and the council’s shortlisting for the Overall Council of the Year Award is another acknowledgement of the commitment our staff have shown.”