"We are a small council, taking small steps and this is just the beginning," says Liam Dagg, environmental services director at the Stratford District Council (SDC) of their newest award.
The 2016 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards celebrate the very best in professional excellence in local government management, and SDC is this year's winner of the LGFA Transforming Service Award category.
The award was presented for the CxT (Customer Experience Transformation) Project which follows improvements made to the building consent process and council's customer service charter.
Liam says the SDC recognised that they were "falling behind and the game was getting faster with the move to digital".
The CxT Project was a combination of tools, technology, people and processes. It included transforming the manual building consent inspection process to digital and introducing a council-wide customer service charter, aimed at every customer receiving the same level of service.
"It is a real credit to the staff that they have embraced the improvements to the customer service goals, and it is particularly noteworthy that this has been recognised at a national level," mayor Neil Volzke says.
"We're really excited about what the future looks like," says Liam. "What we're now looking to do is get involved at a national level, and see if we can standardise our procedures not only for building consenting but for other regulatory functions."
SDC will also continue to improve processes and the customer experience as well as projects such as the Future of Broadway, Economic Development Strategy and the District Plan Review.
This year the awards attracted a record number of 43 entries across five project categories. SDC is the smallest council to be a category winner.
"This is a significant recognition of staff and their commitment to seeing both time and cost savings for the customer," says Liam.