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[26 JAN 99] WARWICKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Warwickshire's Country Parks Win Charter Mark

Warwickshire Country Council’s Country Parks have just been awarded the Charter Mark. The Charter Mark is the Government’s award for recognising and encouraging excellence in public services, and provides a strict measure against which to test service provision and quality.

Gaining the Charter Mark standard is a considerable achievement and can be recognised by the fact the Country Parks were 1 of only 3 organisations to achieve the award in Warwickshire. They also achieved the award at the first attempt.

Dr Jack Cunnigham, Minister for the Cabinet Office said,

"Many congratulations to the Warwickshire’s Country Parks on winning a Charter Mark. This success is well deserved. I am delighted that a record-breaking number of public services have achieved the gold standard of customer care this year. Charter Mark is all about rewarding services that listen and respond to their users and staff. The White paper I will be publishing in the Spring, will be setting out the Government’s plans for improving public services and securing a better deal for the millions who use and work in public services every day."

The award scheme was established by the Government as a means of improving the quality of service both within the public and private sectors. Research has shown that organisations that have gone through the Charter Mark award application process have improved the services they offer, regardless of whether they achieved the standards necessary to receive the award. It is for this reason that the Government is encouraging as many organisations as possible to go through the lengthy and detailed application process.

Keith Higginson, Country Parks Land Manager said,

"I have been involved with Warwickshire’s Country Parks for the last 25 years and I am extremely proud that the service we offer the public has been recognised nationally. It’s a real pat on the back for all our staff, past and present."

NOTES

Charter Mark winners must run their services in line with Citizen’s Charter principles. They must;

  • Show clear standards of what the public can expect and publish performance against them
  • Provide clear information about how their services are run how much it costs and who is in charge
  • Consult with users about improving services
  • Have a clear and well publicised complaints procedure
  • Show that they have spent taxpayers money wisely
  • In particular, show the judges that they have come up with innovative ways of improving services at no extra cost to the public/

Warwickshire Country parks:

  • The 8 countryside recreation sites are open 364 days a year and cover over 1000 acres (405 hectares) of water park, woodlands, open hilltops, disused railway paths and nature reserves. They welcome around 550,000 visitors from the County, West Midlands and surrounding area each year.
  • The 9 full-time staff are ably assisted by 24 part-time Rangers and they pride themselves on the level of customer care they give to the parks’ many visitors.

MORE INFORMATION:
Sally Silk, Country Parks Visitor manager, 01827 87266
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CWN / Politics / Warwickshire County Council / Press Releases / 26 Jan 99

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