24 March 2006
Blaenau Gwent Council is the first Welsh Local Authority to sign up to a national campaign to enhance the reputation of Local Government.
The Reputation Campaign is run by the Local Government Association in partnership with the Improvement and Development Agency (IdeA). The campaign aims to boost public perceptions of local government and the services it delivers.
MORI research shows that the public appreciate the services provided by their local councils, but don’t necessarily feel the same way about the councils themselves. This can be because they don’t realise that the council is providing these services, or because occasional negative publicity colours their perception of the whole organisation.
The Reputation campaign is aimed at ensuring that councils get the credit for things they do well, not just criticism when things go wrong.
By working toward an agreed set of goals focussed around the communications and environmental areas of services it is hoped that Councils across Britain can raise awareness of the services they provide, so that their value is associated with the local council delivering them.
Blaenau Gwent Council is committed to achieving series of core aims and actions, which research shows relate to the services that residents appreciate the most, these include working closely with local media, producing an A-Z of Services, branding services and communicating with residents. Councillor Nigel Daniels, Executive Member for Governance and responsible for council communications and reputation management says: “We see this very much as an opportunity to improve our relationship with our public, meaning the local press, residents and businesses in the area.
“We have several vehicles through which we aim to keep people informed of how they can better access council services and we will be using them all in this campaign. Ensuring our residents and customers are aware of the range of services we provide and how they can benefit from them is top of our agenda. Our reputation and how we are perceived is important to us, in determining the shape of future services.”
The environmental issues of the Reputation Campaign lie mainly in the Neighbourhood Services – Street Scene area, Councillor Hedley McCarthy says: “Street Scene issues include us maintaining a visible cleaning presence on our streets, being aware of our ‘grot spots’, those areas repeatedly used for dumping of waste, and reacting quickly to reports of fly tipping and abandoned vehicles.
“We are working with the Gazette on our ‘Let’s Muck in Campaign’ and are just about to launch our Spring Clean Campaign, so we are confident we can meet the demands of the Reputation Campaign.”