Awards scheme to recognise councillors’ dedication
A NEW awards ceremony for Scottish councillors will aim to battle the stereotype that politicians are self-serving opportunists.
The Councillor Achievement Awards is seeking nominations for Glasgow City Council’s elected members for a grand ceremony in November.
It wants to recognise the councillors who have gone above and beyond to fight for the communities they represent.
Local government think-tank LGIU is running the awards and say councillors often go unappreciated and unnoticed.
Jonathan Carr-west, chief executive of LGIU, said: “We live in difficult times and it’s easy to be cynical, but actually, there are good men and women out there doing an amazing job for their communities and we ought to tell those stories.”
Nominations are open for more than 1,200 councillors across Scotland.
There are six categories, including a community champion, finance, digital, health integration, education and leader of the year.
A similar awards scheme is held in England and in Wales, but this is its debut for Scotland’s councils.
Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said that local government has a vital role in communities across Scotland, delivering “cherished” frontline services and driving economic growth.
She said: “But many in local government often feel a sense of frustration that our role is undervalued or is seen as secondary to the theatre of our parliaments.
“There is so much talent, ability, passion and vision in local government – it’s unfortunate that it is often overlooked.
“So, events like the inaugural Councillor Achievement Awards go some way in redressing this.
“But rather than just pulling people together into a room for some prizes I would really like to see it coincide with a campaign to promote the work of Scotland’s 1,200 councillors and our 32 local authorities.”
Nominations close on September 20, and then a panel of judges will then select a winner for each category.
Awards will be presented on Thursday, November 29, at a ceremony held at Edinburgh’s City Chambers with an address from Kevin Stewart MSP.
Susan Aitken said local government had a vital role.