East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Leisure Service has become the first ever local authority-run service to win the Innovation of the Year accolade at the Institute of Customer Services (ICS) Annual Awards.
The council beat a list of heavyweight submissions for the award, including BUPA International, Asda and Capital One Europe as well as Stirling Council and Devonshire Square.
Kevin Hadfield, leisure service manager, and Dave Clark, senior facility manager, were presented with the Lithium Customer Satisfaction Innovation of the Year Award. The judges felt the leisure service demonstrated great and innovative strategies to improve their customers’ health and well-being.
The submission was based around customer centric application with the general user base and how this has dramatically increased user numbers whilst decreasing operational cost.
Particular emphasis was focussed on the Health Plus Programme, the GP referral scheme, the Live Well Programme and the various software packages that support them.
Councillor Jane Evison, cabinet portfolio holder for rural issues and cultural services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This is a great achievement for our leisure service and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff.
“We have beaten a number of high-calibre entries, most of which were from the private sector, to win this award and in doing so have become the first council to ever win this trophy.
“This is the latest success for the council’s culture and leisure services following the APSE Awards where we won Leisure, Culture and Sport Team of the Year and Best Performing Leisure Centre of the Year and the leisure service team was also a finalist in the Management Team Award category at the recent Local Government Chronicle 2012 Awards.”
Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “To receive this award is excellent news not only for our leisure staff but also for our customers, as it recognises the value this council places on providing the best possible service while also keeping costs low.”
Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “In these uncertain economic times East Riding’s leisure service has shown that their organisation is committed to their customers at the very highest level.”
She added: “They are differentiating through service, placing customers at the heart of their business strategy and securing a bright future for their employees by doing so.”