A team of officials at Brighton and Hove City Council has picked up an award for its work on scrutinising policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions.
The council’s Scrutiny Team won the Innovation category at the Centre for Public Scrutiny annual awards.
The Brighton and Hove team’s award recognised its “reputation for innovation and high quality scrutiny and excellent partnership working with the third sector”.
Chief executive John Barradell was among the first to congratulate the team last night, using Twitter.
Their entry, for their work on local adaptation for climate change, earned them one of the 21 awards handed out at a ceremony in West London yesterday evening.
But they were also shortlisted for the main award, the Public Scrutiny Team of the Year.
The team’s job is to ensure public accountability is maintained throughout the council.
They aim to achieve this by scrutinising the decisions and actions taken by the council executive body – the cabinet and strategic leadership board.
They also review the performance and impact of decisions and policy.
The judges were particularly impressed by the team’s commitment to engage with the public and a wide range of partner organisations to increase democratic accountability throughout the decision-making process.
They also praised the team for the way they involved independent experts and their good use of evidence from scrutiny reviews in developing a number of key council policies.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission, said: “I was so proud that we were recognised for such an award and it really is testament to all the hard work that the council’s scrutiny team have put in over the past few years.
“The team really are a dynamic bunch and the city is lucky to have them.”
Earlier, Tom Hook, the council’s head of overview and scrutiny, said: “It’s great to get official acknowledgement of the fantastic job the team has been doing.”
He said that his team worked with local communities, councillors of all parties and partners such as the universities to develop better value and more intelligent services for the people of Brighton and Hove.
And Councillor Ben Duncan, the council’s cabinet member for communities, equalities and public protection, said earlier: “Not only has the team been shortlisted for the team of the year award but also for its dedication and expertise for scrutiny of climate change policies.”
He said that the team ensured that “we look closely at the potential threats facing the city and take advantage of the range of opportunities open to us to reduce carbon emissions and reduce overall pollution in the city”.