Bolton Council has won the ‘Best Service Delivery’ category in the prestigious national LGC Awards 2020.
The annual awards, run by the Local Government Chronicle, were held virtually on Wednesday (October 28) to recognise the best in innovation and service delivery.
The Environmental Service’s behaviour change teams scooped the award for their work with residents and volunteers to encourage the public to take more responsibility for the environment.
The teams were set up in 2015, with the aim of changing how residents and businesses dealt with their rubbish.
Staff were trained on educating and engaging with the public. They were also given additional powers to enforce on environmental issues whilst out on their routes.
One of their achievements includes a decrease in reported flytipping incidents from 4,000 in 2014 to just over 1,000 in 2019.
The teams also work closely with Bolton Green Umbrella – an organisation set up in 2016, which co-ordinates and supports volunteer and community groups who pick up litter across the borough. More than 90 groups are now registered with Green Umbrella.
Projects with hundreds of young people, via schools and organisations like Bolton Council of Mosques, have also taken place to encourage behaviour change from a young age.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “To get recognition for the work we are doing together with the community is brilliant.
“It’s testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff and amazing partners and volunteers. A huge thank you must go to our staff and public for their willingness and desire to instigate change.
“The LGC awards are very competitive so winning this award is a real achievement.”
Cllr Adele Warren, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services Delivery, added: “I really want to take this opportunity to congratulate and celebrate our staff, and all the wonderful local people and groups who work with us. They are what makes the borough special.
“I’ve seen first-hand how hard the teams work and quite often it’s a thankless task. So for their achievements to be recognised in this way is well deserved.
“The culture change with staff, alongside the development of Bolton Green Umbrella and a targeted approach to waste enforcement has helped to reverse the trend for the council’s traditional role of picking waste up for people.”
The judges said they were “hugely impressed” with the widespread community engagement and cultural transformation of the street cleaning and enforcement services.
They added: “This was backed up by an independent evaluation showing great return on investment.
“The excellent facts and figures were brought to life by the obvious passion of the Service Heads who have enabled this to happen. Love Bolton, hate litter!”