Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE)
The Association is an unincorporated association consisting of over 250 local authorities and other public bodies. It aims to assist its membership in delivering high quality local services in a Best Value environment.
(a) Best Value will ensure that public services will reflect the needs of local communities and deliver quality cost effective services. The Association aims to be a catalyst in continuously improving public services and promoting best practices.
(b) The Association recognises the role that direct services provide in the Social, Economic and Environmental well-being of an area and consider that when all options are weighed up through proper cost benefit analysis then direct services are the Best Value Option for delivering services. Public services should be ultimately democratically accountable via the ballot box.
(c) Highly motivated staff deliver the highest quality services. Only a high level of commitment to involve employees in setting those standards will ensure they are delivered.
(d) The best services require the best level of investment and training in high quality employees.
(e) The best councils are those who deliver the best services. High quality and the best practices can only be achieved by a real partnership between the local council, its employees and the community they serve.
The Association has traditionally represented the following local authority services:
Building and Construction, Highways/Road Maintenance and Management, Waste Management, Refuse Collection, Street Cleaning, Vehicle Maintenance, Catering, Building Cleaning, Grounds Maintenance, Parks Managements, Sports and Leisure and Housing Management. Following Best Value the Association has seen a much wider demand for its services from all areas of local government. This has brought about an expansion including additional advisory groups on Best Value and Procurement, Employee Relations, Business Processes, Community Safety and Security and the development of a forum exclusively for Elected Members.
The Association’s services now include local government’s largest benchmarking club, Performance Networks, the Best Value Consultancy and a training wing Lifelong Learning and Development. As a non-profit making organisation, owned by its local authority members to provide both services for them and the support they require, the Association heavily subsidises services for members. Along with a full range of seminars, the Association provides e-mail briefings and information sharing, networking, publications and hosts a website.
The Association for Public Service Excellence holds quarterly meetings plus an annual seminar. The Council’s representatives attend meetings of the South West Region of the Association, which also take place quarterly. Members may also be appointed to the National Council of the Association which meets approximately four times per year. The Association has launched an elected members’ forum to allow Councillors from all over the U.K. to meet quarterly and discuss issues relevant to them.
Mr Paul O'Brien