Awards scheme to recog­nise coun­cil­lors’ ded­i­ca­tion

The Herald - - NEWS - ALAN FERGUSON

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.

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