Recognition for AVDC’s innovative commercial approach

7 Mar 2017

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) has been nominated for three awards in recognition of their commercial approach to council services. The council has been shortlisted for two categories at the LGC Awards; ‘Entrepreneurial Council of the Year’ for its innovative method of generating revenue to subsidise budget cuts and ‘Driving efficiency through technology’ for leading the way with its cost-saving car pool scheme. They are also in the same category at the UK Cloud Awards as I.T. giant Microsoft and the Ministry of Defence, competing for the ‘Best Public Sector Project’ award for their digital transformation project, ‘Right Here, Right Now’ which is estimated to save the council £1.8m over the next 5 years.

The LGC Awards will take place this Wednesday 8 March and recognises the very best in local government. Their shortlisting for the ‘Entrepreneurial Council of the Year’ category reflects how the council have re-shaped their approach to become a commercially minded organisation. Through the creation of two distinct companies, Vale Commerce Ltd and Aylesbury Vale Broadband Ltd, AVDC are looking to provide commercial, paid-for, services in order to generate an income for the more traditional non-paid-for council services, such as waste collection and community spaces.

The ‘Driving efficiency through technology’ award nomination recognises the introduction of AVDC’s car pool scheme, which has saved £104,000 in its first year. In addition to cost savings, the scheme has cut vehicle emissions by half and has achieved National Best Practice recognition through the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the trade body for the vehicle rental and leasing sector. It has also been awarded the  ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ status as well as the Energy Saving Trust’s prestigious Fleet Hero award.

The 2017 UK Cloud Awards are taking place on Wednesday 15 March The awards celebrate innovation, entrepreneurialism and technical excellence in the UK cloud IT Market, showcasing recognised organisations who are setting the benchmark within the UK. Selected from hundreds of nominations, AVDC and their partner Arcus Global are delighted to be shortlisted for the ‘Best Public Sector Project’ award, alongside OCF with MRC eMedLab, Microsoft with Ministry of Defence and Redcentric with Department for Work and Pension. The ‘Right Here, Right Now’ project was focussed on automating their back office systems while ensuring that their online experience fulfilled the needs of their residents, resulting in a fully customer-centric approach with significant financial savings. Its success to date has been testament to the development of the programme and has since lead to AVDC’s new digital strategy, ‘Connected Knowledge’, which includes the ground-breaking introduction of Artificial Intelligence to the council.

Cllr. Janet Blake, Cabinet Member for Business Transformation, said: “It really is fantastic news that our commercial projects have been recognised through the award nominations by both the LGC and the UK Cloud Awards. It has become imperative that we find different ways of earning new income and to become more efficient in all we do, in order to grow our services. We work incredibly hard at AVDC to think outside of the box on how we can make improvements commercially while ensuring that all projects are developed with our residents firmly in mind.”

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