Surrey County Council has been crowned local authority of the year – without even entering the national competition.
The council scooped the top award at the Improvement and Efficiency Awards for its programme of Public Value Reviews (PVR), which unearthed nearly £280 million of savings and improved services.
Surrey originally submitted an entry in the delivering through efficiency category but judges were so impressed they shortlisted it for the overall award.
As well as the gold award for national council of the year, Surrey’s adult social care service won a silver award for supporting older and vulnerable people through working closely with borough and districts.
Surrey County Council leader David Hodge said: “It is fantastic to say that we have been recognised as the best council and shows that by working together we are stronger and much better placed to provide first-class, efficient services to local people.”
The PVR programme to ensure residents receive the best possible services and maximum value for money ended with total savings of £279m being uncovered by 2016. The reviews looked at all council services over three years.