Councils throughout Northern Ireland celebrated yesterday evening as the eight award category winners of the 2017 Local Government Awards were announced. The event was hosted by television presenter Sarah Travers at the La Mon Hotel, Castlereagh.
Speaking at the event, Alderman Arnold Hatch, Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) President said,
“Congratulations to the winners and to all the 11 Councils who took the time to submit entries into the 2017 Local Government Awards."
“Just two years on from the reform of local government, we have tackled huge changes right across our sector. As community impact grows and performance improves, these awards are testimony to modernising and improving services for local people as well as offering benchmarks for wider government and civic society. They provide fantastic learning tools for councils, in an environment where not only every penny counts but exceptional performance is witnessed every day."
“We can do things better by learning from the best. This is something NILGA is passionate about, and it is reflected in our ambitious councils who are celebrating strong public services delivered through local people tonight."
APSE Chief Executive, Paul O'Brien said “The standard for this year’s submissions was especially high and winners and finalists thoroughly deserve the recognition that these awards bring to our local councils in Northern Ireland. Well done to all.”
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY SERVICE TEAM
Sponsored by the Association for Public Service Excellence [APSE]
Winner: Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (Grounds Maintenance Unit)
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by the William Johnston Memorial Trust [WJMT]
Winner: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council (Samuel Hyndman)
BEST ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE BY A COUNCIL
Sponsored by Enterprise Northern Ireland
Winner: Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough (Food Heartland of Northern Ireland)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY COMMUNITY PLANNING INITIATIVE
Sponsored by the Northern Ireland Branch of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers [SOLACE NI]
Winner: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (Food Heartland Inspirational Careers Days
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY DIGITAL INTEGRATION PROJECT
Sponsored by Oracle
Winner: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (Developing a Digital Culture: Growing the Digi-Tech Economy)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY ELECTED MEMBER DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
Sponsored by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association [NILGA]
Winner: Belfast City Council (Women Leaders Programme)
BEST INITIATIVE BY A COUNCILLOR/ COUNCILLOR GROUP
Sponsored by the National Association of Councillors [NAC]
Winner: Ards and North Down Borough Council (Comber Farmers’ Market)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY TOURISM INITIATIVE
Sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland
Winner: Mid Ulster District Council (Seamus Heaney HomePlace)
Notes to editors
The Local Government Awards Northern Ireland showcase the best examples of service provision, new initiatives and personal commitment from councils, councillors and officers. The awards show public recognition while awarding excellence in front line local government public services. The categories are designed to acknowledge innovation, individual commitment and to highlight the best working practices, while providing opportunities for those working within local government a chance to step forward and shine. Following the reorganisation of local government in Northern Irelands, the 2017 Northern Ireland Local Government Awards make a welcome return to the local government calendar.