Oxford Direct Services (ODS) has been named “Winner of Best Service Team” in the Street Cleansing and Streetscene Service category at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards held in Newcastle in September.
The award, sponsored by Enevo, recognises the work ODS does on behalf of Oxford City Council, keeping the city clean and clear of debris seven days a week, all year round.
The award panel recognised the teamwork, effort and efficiency that ODS’ Streetscene Team demonstrated following the transformation of the service in 2017. During this time work practices were revolutionised with radically different new shift patterns and the incorporation of cleansing in Oxford’s parks.
These changes resulted in significant service improvements most notably in the parks where summer months can put a huge strain on the service and in the city centre where the lively night time economy can have a negative impact on the appearance of the streets.
The move also enabled the service to absorb the impact of the regeneration to the west of the city’s centre, where the Westgate Shopping Centre opened. More recently, the team also incorporated cleaning in the Council’s housing blocks with the inclusion of their estate officers’ team.
ODS was also selected as finalists in three other categories, highlighting the excellence manifested across the business:
• the parks, grounds and horticultural service
• transport and fleet maintenance
• the cemetery and crematorium service.
Bruce Thompson, ODS’ Head of Environmental Services, said: “I would like to express my personal and sincere thanks to the Streetscene team for the fantastic job they do, for the manner in which they have embraced change and their commitment to service excellence and public service.
“ODS is 100% invested in communities, we are about doing good, making our part of the world a better place to work, live and visit. Being selected as finalist in as many as three other categories emphasises the great work that our teams do and the standards that we, as a business, aspire to.”
Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities and Customer Focused Services, said: “I am delighted that ODS has won further recognition at the APSE Awards. To win one category and be finalists across three others is quite an achievement.
"ODS’ successes are a testament to the hard work, day in and day out, of the teams who work there. It's also a vindication of the Oxford City Council’s decision to invest in them and resist the siren voices of outsourcing our direct services, when so many councils decided to do that.
"We are proud ODS is wholly owned by the City Council for the people of Oxford. This relationship cements loyalty among ODS’ workforce and a passion for high standards. The City Council has a long term commitment to ODS, and that in turn produces award-winning excellence.”