Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Environmental Health team tops public service excellence awards

Environmental Health team tops public service excellence awards
12 December 2018

Orkney Islands Council’s Environmental Health team has picked up ‘Best Performers’ award at a UK-wide event aimed at recognising examples of quality and improved service by local councils.

OIC was up against six other councils for the accolade by The Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), at the annual charity awards held last Thursday (6 December).

The APSE is a network of local government officers, managers and councillors from local authorities across the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in the delivery of frontline services to local communities. The network enables Councils to share information and expertise to support strong, sustainable frontline services.

APSE Chief Executive Paul O'Brien said, "APSE’s data benchmarking service allows local government to recognise those top performing local councils alongside those who are striving to continuously improve their frontline services.

“Right across local government our member councils are driving forwards on service improvements and placing quality at the heart of what they do. These worthy finalists are showing a real commitment to those services which we all value at a neighbourhood level."

Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Graham Sinclair, said: “This is a great result for a small team covering the spectrum of environmental health responsibilities – from inspecting private water supplies, to inspecting private sector housing, to stamping out littering, dealing with anti-social behaviour and other public nuisances as well as working with local businesses. I commend the efforts of both Council staff and the wider community who work with us for this result.”

It has been a busy and successful year for the Council’s Environmental Health team. In June this year, Orkney was named by consumer group Which? as having the highest food safety standards in Scotland for the third time in the last five years. Orkney has taken top spot in Scotland  in 2014, 2017 and 2018 – with the county coming in second the other two years. Which? analysed all the local authorities in the UK using data submitted to Food Standards Scotland and ranked them based on the timeliness of inspections and the quality of premises inspected. Orkney topped the table in Scotland and was placed tenth in the UK as a whole.

More recently, the Council’s food law enforcement service was audited by Food Standards Scotland in June. Their report, published in September, was a positive one, finding that officers completed the required duties “primarily using education followed by the application of the principles of helpfulness, openness, proportionality, consistency, fairness and equality” and targeted action.

Find out more about the APSE awards at www.apse.org.uk .