Ex­cel­lence Awards for coun­cil work that has ‘changed lives’

Gold awards for Dundee De­cides ini­tia­tive and city refugee em­ploy­ment pro­gramme

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - SCOTT MILNE smilne@the­courier.co.uk

A coun­cil ini­tia­tive that put democ­racy into the hands of Dun­do­nians was one of sev­eral projects recog­nised at an awards cer­e­mony.

Dundee De­cides won a gold award at the Cosla Ex­cel­lence Awards 2018 cer­e­mony in Fair­mont Ho­tel, St An­drews, on Thurs­day night.

Dundee City Coun­cil also won gold for its Get Ready for Work – Em­ploy­ment for Refugees pro­gramme. Through the pro­gramme, Syr­ian refugees in the city were given em­ploy­a­bil­ity and lan­guage skills to help them set­tle in the area and find a job.

An­gus and Fife coun­cils also en­joyed suc­cess. An­gus won the Scot­tish Govern­ment Award for De­liv­er­ing Ex­cel­lence, while Fife took the Pres­i­dent’s Award.

Dundee City Coun­cil, on be­half of the lo­cal health and so­cial care part­ner­ship, awarded a £270,000 con­tract to the Scot­tish Refugee Coun­cil for the “pro­vi­sion of a hu­man in­te­gra­tion ser­vice” in the city. The pro­gramme won in the “achiev­ing bet­ter out­comes through part­ner­ship” cat­e­gory.

And on top of those wins, the lo­cal author­ity was handed bronze awards for its Earth Hour 2018 and the Fam­ily Fresh Air Club.

Dundee De­cides was the big­gest project of its kind car­ried out in Scot­land.

Thou­sands of peo­ple took part in the par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing project, which al­lowed peo­ple in the city to vote on how £1.2 mil­lion was spent in their com­mu­ni­ties.

More than 11,000 re­sponses were re­ceived, with vot­ers hav­ing their say on a list of projects in each of Dundee’s eight elec­toral wards.

Each ward was al­lo­cated £150,000 to spend on in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments.

The re­sults were an­nounced in the Steeple Church in March and some of the win­ners in­cluded im­prove­ments to Perth Road dis­trict shop­ping area, im­proved foot­paths in Bax­ter Park and na­ture trails in­stalled at Reres Hill and Grassy Beach.

Coun­cil­lor Wil­lie Sawers, deputy leader of Dundee City Coun­cil, said: “This is an amaz­ing achieve­ment. We are all im­mensely proud of the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion that has gone in to make these projects a suc­cess for peo­ple in the city.”

The SNP coun­cil­lor added: “Both projects have de­liv­ered re­sults and changed lives across Dundee.”

Both projects have de­liv­ered re­sults and changed lives across Dundee. COUN­CIL­LOR WIL­LIE SAWERS

Pic­ture: Gareth Jen­nings

In June com­mu­nity re­gen­er­a­tion man­ager John Hosie cel­e­brated with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of some of the schemes that will ben­e­fit from the Dundee De­cides votes.

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