One Scottish council makes shortlist for best in UK award

A judging panel will visit each of the finalist locations before the awards ceremony in June.

Inverclyde Council only in Scotland to be shortlisted for best in UK award iStock

A Scottish local authority has been nominated for Council of The Year 2023.

Inverclyde Council is the only local authority in Scotland to be nominated for the coveted award along with five others in England.

The shortlist, which was announced on Monday, is organised by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) and aims to recognise the efforts of council areas across the UK.

Finalists were chosen by a judging panel following a “vigorous” process across multiple different categories.

Inverclyde’s submission included its response to the Covid-19 pandemic and support during the cost of living crisis.

Last year, the council offered a one-off payment of £350 to some 10,000 low income households and financial support through the Warm Hand of Friendship initiative.

The entry also referenced an investment of over £270m in its schools estate and the decrease in child poverty levels from 23.8% to 18.2%.

Inverclyde is also one of two areas in the UK where every school has achieved UNICEF ‘Rights Respecting School’ status.

In November, council leader, Stephen McCabe was named 2022 Scottish Local Politician of the Year by The Herald newspaper.

He said: “As a council, we continue to punch above our weight across Scotland and the UK in delivering quality services for our residents but also pushing the boundaries of what local government can do with very limited resources to support people, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

“This is worthy recognition for the entire council workforce for continuing to achieve results time and again no matter what challenges are thrown at them but also to the people of this area who make Inverclyde the caring, compassionate and resilient place it is.”

Louise Long, chief executive of Inverclyde Council, said: “I’m amazed day in, day out by the work of colleagues across all council services alongside our partners to make Inverclyde the best place possible for the people who live and work here.

“We have a shared goal of delivering for our residents and making Inverclyde a better place and to be named as a finalist among other councils from across the UK is worthy recognition for the efforts of all our staff, who I would like to thank and congratulate.”

The other councils nominated in the Council of the Year category include Barnsley MBC, Buckinghamshire Council, Cornwall Council, Salford City Council and West Lindsey DC.

The awards ceremony will take place on June 8 this year in London.

A panel of judges will visit each area ahead of the awards and the councils will give a presentation during the ceremony before the winner is announced.

Advantages based on size or location will be disregarded by judges when deciding upon a winner and the award will not be based on the scale of the Covid challenge a council has faced.

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