Glasgow chief Susan Aitken named council leader of the year

The councillor was praised for spearheading the post-industrial city's response to the climate crisis.

Glasgow chief Susan Aitken named council leader of the year LGIU

The head of Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken has been named local authority leader of the year in an awards ceremony for Scotland’s top councillors.

The Cllr Awards are hosted by LGIU (Local Government Information Unit) an independent think tank that supports councils across the UK.

Billed as the only national awards to celebrate the vital contributions of local councillors across Scotland, winners were announced on Wednesday night at a ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers.

Award presenter Paul Murricane joked with Aitken as he held the microphone towards her, saying: “Don’t worry I’m not Bernard Ponsonby.”

The joke was in reference to an interview with the STV special correspondent who asked if her if she thought Glasgow’s streets were filthy.

She rejected the claim.

Announcing her win, LGIU said Aitken was spearheading a Green recovery in the post-industrial city with plans to pedestrianise areas and create a regional metro.

During the UN climate summit, held at the Scottish Exhibition Centre by the River Clyde, Aitken welcomed visitors from all over the world.

Susan Aitken said Glasgow could not be prouder to host COP26.

Aitken was up against West Lothian Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick, and Orkney’s James Stockan.

The SNP leader said: “Thanks for all the lovely congratulations messages, folks. Always nice to be recognised [and] I’m very grateful to @LGiU. Particularly delighted for my fab colleague @jakimclaren a brilliant choice as Community Champion of the Year. Congrats to all winners [and] nominees.”

Bailie Jacqueline Mclaren, councillor for Canal Ward Glasgow, was named community champion.

East Ayrshire councillor Claire Leitch won the champion for an education award.

Dundee City’s Bailie Willie Sawers received a lifetime contribution award.

Jackie McCamon, of Dumfries and Galloway Council, was named best new councillor of the year.

Euan Jardine, Scottish Borders Council, won the Resilience and Recovery award, created to mark efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive, LGIU Scotland said: “We are incredibly proud to unveil the winners of this year’s Cllr Awards. These councillors showcase the best of local government across Scotland.

“During a time when our communities have experienced unprecedented challenges and pressures, these councillors are paving the way towards recovery.

“I would like to extend a huge congratulations to Cllr Aitken and all of tonight’s Cllr Awards winners. We thank you for your service and look forward to hearing about your continued accomplishments in the future.”

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