Councils dominate Charter Mark awards

3 Feb 00
Local authorities scooped the pool in this week's Charter Mark awards, garnering 41% of the prizes announced by Cabinet Office Minister Mo Mowlam.

04 February 2000

Councils won 326 of the 789 awards, which recognise excellence in public services. Their performance eclipsed other parts of the public sector, with 22% of the winners from the health sector, 12% from education and 11% from central government.

Many of the winners had used the Charter Mark as part of their preparation for Best Value. 'The extent of today's success demonstrates that councils are rising to this [Best Value] challenge, listening to their local communities and putting local people first,' said local government minister Hilary Armstrong.

Durham County Council won no fewer than eight awards, Renfrewshire the same number, and the London boroughs of Southwark and Wandsworth each received seven.

Charter Marks were introduced by the Conservatives in 1992, and are awarded for a period of three years.

Mowlam said it was 'encouraging' to see that 63 winners had achieved the Charter Mark for the third time in a row.

'This shows that not only have they been able to reach a high standard of service, but that they have been able to keep that standard year on year to provide quality and consistency in the work that they do,' she said.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the Charter Marks were central to his modernising government agenda, and that the winners should be seen as role models for the public sector.

'It is important that everyone in the public services learns the lessons of these winners and constantly works to raise standards. That will help make the difference in delivering the high quality services that people have a right to expect.'

By Mike Thatcher


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