Winners of the ’One to Watch’ category stand apart from the other categories because they demonstrate innovative projects that as yet may not have evidence of results. To be successful in this category, winners have shown originality and that they are capable of delivering ground breaking performance. Above all, our award winners are pioneering new answers to the challenges facing local government.

These projects may be at a very early stage, but have the potential to deliver substantial results by bringing new ideas or approaches to resolve recognised problems, or to respond to new challenges.  Many have already demonstrated early successes and set challenging targets for improvements or efficiencies that will be achieved. 


The City of Edinburgh Council: Coaching Bank

Over the last year, Edinburgh Council has been developing & training an internal pool of coaches to serve & enhance the development & performance of managers through coaching, alongside a variety of general & bespoke consulting services. The project, sponsored by the Director for Corporate Governance, has involved substantial research & energy, looking at all aspects of internal & external coaching in order to enhance other development activities, improve the performance of leaders across the organisation & ensure quality internal coaching capability. As an initial pilot, the Coaching Bank(CB) launched 10 months ago, offering the services of dedicated Internal Coaches(ICs), developed to a recognised standard, to the management population, supporting them to develop in role, manage their people & their work plans, enhance performance & motivation at a time when the workforce needs it most. Forming part of the HR & People Strategy,  this initiative is about creating  & sustaining the organisation’s capability to offer coaching to leaders across the Council & externally, in order that performance is enhanced, a coaching culture is enabled , higher levels of engagement result and our goal of achieving a ‘high performance culture’ is realised. A key initiative outcome is to develop our internal capability to deliver credible,value-added, cost-effective coaching development solutions. To do this we have looked externally in terms of benchmarking, potential partnering & modelling & we feel we are now very well placed to move from our pilot phase to full product launch within the next 3-6 months & share/offer best practice advice in this area.

Download more information: OTW 08 Coaching Bank

Perth & Kinross Council: Go2 4ASN   

Perthand Kinross has one of the highest levels of presumption of mainstreaming inScotland.  Of the 18.000 pupils in education only 60 who have the most severe and complex needs are placed within its one new sector-leading special school.  All other pupils are placed in mainstream schools with the result that all education staff and their partners in social work, health, colleges, Skills Development Scotland and voluntary agencies, require to be skilled in meeting a very wide range of additional support needs which include autism, dyslexia, social and emotional difficulties and so on.

Excellent collaboration between the authors and the Authority’s print and design department led to the creation of an online flipbook with over 100 hyperlinks and 14 Sections which address the issues which were raised during the Authority evaluation. The architecture of the Manual has been highly praised and there is no doubt that a key strength lies in its accessibility and readability.

The impact on children and young people with additional support needs is sometimes hard to judge. However, there is no doubt that improved practice leads to increased motivation resulting in improved attendance, particularly for children and young people with social and emotional needs. It also leads to a reduction in exclusions which in turn broadens and increases achievement, including for looked after children.  WithinPerthand Kinross, these indicators are all on an upward trend.

Download more information: OTW 18 Go2 4ASN

Argyll and Bute Council: Process for Change

Work is what I do, not a place I need to be to deliver quality customer services.

“It’s 8am on a stormy Tuesday morning on the Isle of Islay.  The ferry sailings have been cancelled.  I have a meeting at the Council headquarters in 3 hours: a customer complaint to resolve and some web pages to update. Fortunately, I have my new laptop, so I go to the recently created wifi touchdown zone at the nearby council office. Once I’m connected to the internet, suddenly my office is where I am.  Unified communication via wifi gives me secure access to my phone, council files, email, contacts and applications.  I hold my meeting using the videocam built into my laptop, clear the customer complaint via our new corporate complaints system (updating the relevant elected Member via our Member’s Portal), then dial into our new Sharepoint intranet to upload the Chief Exec’s latest blog on the website.”

This blend of agile working and customer focused delivery is the result of Argyll and Bute Council’s Process for Change Programme (PfC); five years of integrated customer care and workforce projects that are transforming service delivery and workstyles in one of Scotland’s most geographically challenging council areas

Download more information: OTW 28 Process for Change

Aberdeenshire Council: workSPACE

The workSPACE (Smart Provision of Accommodation and the Customer Experience) Strategy is a dynamic approach Aberdeenshire Council is taking to reduce the number of offices the council operates with smarter working and improved customer service. The plans include investing in existing and building new offices to enable the council to dispose of many smaller offices which are not fit for purpose, expensive to run or are currently leased by the council.

The strategy also meets the changing requirements of customers and focuses on providing a range of ways for the public to interact with council services; online, by telephony and through service points in all major towns. This is a vital efficiency plan, which will save the council around £1 million per annum and will also mean a better working environment for many employees.

Download more information: OTW 41 workSPACE

Renfrewshire Council: Dog Fouling Campaign

Dog fouling is one of the most common complaints from the public in Renfrewshire.  Approximately 1,000 tonnes of dog poo is produced a day in the UK, and while the majority of owners are responsible and pick up after their dogs, a careless minority are still leaving the mess behind for others to step in. Each year the Renfrewshire Wardens Service receives over 300 complaints about dog fouling spoiling our parks and streets. In response a new, cost effective dog fouling campaign was launched to clean up areas, take enforcement action against irresponsible dog owners and encourage the public to stand up and take an active part. Significant outcomes were achieved in the first 6 months with 72% of people saying they have seen a reduction in dog fouling.

Download more information: OTW 10 Dog Fouling Campaign

North Ayrshire Council: Motivated Minds

‘Motivated Minds’ is a project which aims to increase pupil and teacher aspirations and expectations. It is an inspirational preventative approach for all pupils, with a view to increasing their view of their own potential, resulting in increased motivation and achievement. This project is based on ‘Mindset’ research by Professor Carol Dweck.  North Ayrshire Educational Psychology Service has taken this foundation and developed a systemic, school and teacher focused, cost neutral intervention.  Motivated Minds is a three phase project: Phase 1, focusing on mainstream primary schools, has demonstrated the impact of embedding the idea of a growth mindset in the classroom on pupils’ motivation and view of themselves as a learner.  The initial evaluation showed increases in both pupil and teacher mindset and that teacher engagement is an essential feature of the intervention.  Phases Two and Three aims to take the approach into secondary, early years and special sectors and develop a further emphasis on parental involvement.

Download more information: OTW 25 Motivated Minds

Scottish Borders Council : Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying

Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying was established by Scottish Borders Council on 1st March 2011.  The Commission has appointed 12 Youth Commissioners (aged 14-22) who will undertake a 14-month volunteer role.  They are working alongside the Commissioning Body and partner organisations who have formed an Advisory Board, to enable the Youth Commissioners to make evidenced  recommendations for the prevention and management of bullying behaviour in our learning settings for children and young people aged 3-18.  Using a model of policy development called ‘co-production,’ service user empowerment becomes the core value. We will re-write and implement a new anti-bullying policy for educational establishments to adopt in 2012/13.  This initiative has the potential to achieve significant cultural change in how the local authority designs, develops and implements policy, through the empowerment of service users – in this case children and young people; whilst at the same time seeks to improve outcomes for children, young people, and their families who are affected by bullying behaviours.  We believe we are the first local authority in Scotland to take such a comprehensive and youth-led approach, using co-production, for the development of education policy.

Download more information:OTW 33 Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying