THE SOLAR TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD 2019

 OPEN for nominations!

 

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Brodies and DWF SOLAR are able to once again celebrate success, innovation and good practice in our sector in two Awards:

 

SOLAR Legal Team of the Year (Sponsored by Brodies)

And

SOLAR Administrative Team of the Year (Sponsored by DWF)

 

Entries are once again welcomed from Entrants who are Corporate members of SOLAR and complete an application form (up to 1500 words) showing that they have worked as a team to provide service excellency and met one or more of the following criteria:

 

  • Implemented new systems, practices and procedures to improve the work of the team and/or its service to customers
  • Worked to improve the effectiveness of Members as elected representatives, supporting their work both centrally and within localities
  • Demonstrated best practice in a field of local authority specialism
  • Innovated with reduced resources in challenging financial times

 

The Judging Panel will once again be chaired by Stuart Allan, former Commissioner for Ethical Standards and accompanied by Annemarie O’Donnell, current Chair of SOLACE and Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council along with a representative of each sponsor – Brodies and DWF.

 

The Judging Panel has been approached in order to bring a wealth of local authority experience, elected member understanding, client perspective and knowledge and appreciation of excellent service standards in legal and administrative practice.  It would be impossible to achieve that credible experience without inevitably having current or past associations with councils around Scotland.  The Judging Panel are trusted for their judicious decision-making and will be taken to be adept at rising above any perceived bias and will not be prevented from participating in the full judging process.

 

In order also to ensure fairness and transparency, SOLAR are once again fortunate to have the support of former members who have retired and have no current associations with Councils so as to facilitate the nominations and judging process.  This year Diane Campbell and Ian Mackay will be our Co-ordinators of the Awards on behalf of the SOLAR Executive.

 

Entries should therefore be submitted to : ianmackay26@btinternet.com by THURSDAY 31ST JANUARY 2019

 

The judging phase will take place during February with finalists being announced on Monday 25th February.

 

Finalists will be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony at the SOLAR Annual Dinner at the Conference to be held on Thursday 14th March 2019 at the Crutherland House Hotel, East Kilbride.

 

I would strongly recommend entering Teams for consideration into these awards.  The experience of the last two years we have run the awards has brought tremendous feedback from teams who are heartened to have their work recognised by their own managers and councils, by their peers and ultimately by the esteemed panel of judges.  We must celebrate the great work that takes place all around the country in Councils and Public Sector organisations who participate in SOLAR and who may find the process of entering and gaining recognition at larger, wider sector awards ceremonies more challenging.  The generous support of our sponsors means that there should be no financial barrier to entering the Awards – attendance at the Award Ceremony at our Annual Dinner is assured for two representatives of each of the finalists by the financial support of the sponsors.  And it shouldn’t take long to compose 1,500 words on the work of the team.  Prior judging panels have underlined that “less is more” and there is no need to provide lengthy testimonials or supporting documentation such as perhaps other Awards programmes demand.

 

So, please, get behind your teams and let them know how much you value their work and contributions by encouraging them to enter by 31st January.

 

Jan Todd

SOLAR President

______________________________________________________________________

THE SOLAR TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018 WINNERS

Delighted to announce the two SOLAR awards winners:

Dundee City Council Commercial Legal Team work on a huge number of linked urban regeneration projects which have transformed the Dundee Waterfront with the aim of introducing a range of major visitor attractions and reinventing the city as a tourist destination.

  • Administrator Team of the year sponsored by DWF 

Aberdeen City Council Democratic Services Team undertaking an ambitious improvement programme this year, reviewing the Council’s governance framework, including Committee Reporting procedures, “paperlight” meetings, a Member/Officer Relations Protocol, a redesigned ALEO Assurance Hub and a revised Scheme of Governance.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

THE SOLAR TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD 2017

SPONSORED BY DWF https://www.dwf.law/

Recognising the talent and good practice that abounds in lawyers and administrators in local authorities in Scotland, SOLAR launched a new Award programme to celebrate success within our sector.

At the SOLAR Annual Conference Dinner in Aberdeen on 16th March 2017, SOLAR was grateful to our sponsor DWF in making it possible to celebrate the success of those working within the sector, to share and showcase good practice and to recognise those teams of lawyers and administrators in local authorities who had gone the extra mile in carrying out their work.

The Award was open to all Corporate members of SOLAR although restricted to one entry per Council.  Nomination was by application form (up to 1500 words) showing that they had worked as a team to provide service excellency and met one or more of the following criteria:

  • Implemented new systems, practices and procedures to improve the work of the team and/or its service to customers
  • Worked to improve the effectiveness of Members as elected representatives, supporting their work both centrally and within localities
  • Demonstrated best practice in a field of local authority specialism

The submissions were judged by a panel of three judges: a former publicly appointed independent person with a strong connection to the work of local authorities and a career in local government law and administration; a retired SOLAR office bearer and council chief officer with an in-depth understanding of the working environment and challenges for lawyers and administrators in local authorities; and a representative of SOLACE to bring a chief executive client perspective.

The winner of the SOLAR Team of the Year Award 2017 was Scottish Borders Council whose innovative approach to the task of implementing a Paper-Free agenda through their Committee Services Team found favour with the judges.

Runners-up were City of Dundee Council and Aberdeenshire Council.

Also specially commended was the entry from Midlothian Council.