BUCKS County Council is in the running to be named the ‘Council of the year’ after being shortlisted for two national efficiency awards.

The awards, hosted by The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise, honour the dedication and innovation of public service ‘teams’ in the country.

Leader of the Council, Martin Tett, said: “It's really impressive to receive two shortlistings from an organisation at the forefront of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government nationally."

The Council has been named alongside Oxford City Council and Norwich City Council in the top three ‘Council of the year’ authorities this year.

Bucks County Council’s work to deliver the Armed Forces Covenant in Buckinghamshire has also been shortlisted in the ‘Working Together’ category.

The council has been shortlisted against Cheshire West, Chester Council and Oxford City in this category.

Mr Tett said: “With the severe budget pressures, councils are taking tough decisions all the time. In Buckinghamshire we pride ourselves on being focused on our residents and delivering good quality, innovative services.”

19 local authorities have been shortlisted for this year’s iESE Improvement and Efficiency Awards.

Set up to support the sector in improving service delivery whilst reducing costs, the awards are now in their fifth year.

Cllr Paul Bettison, Chairman of The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise, said: “As all of us in local government know, excelling in spite of severe financial pressure has now become a way of life.

“With our communities depending heavily on their much relied upon services, the teams of staff working behind the scenes to keep them going are often taken for granted by residents.”

He added: “Across the country, councils continue to excel in developing new ways of working and transforming local public service delivery. “As local governments first Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise, we are committed to supporting the sector in improving services, reducing costs and ensuring that knowledge is shared to strengthen sector-led improvement.”

The award ceremony where the winners of the categories will be announced is to be held in London on Tuesday, March 4.