Councils submitted over 50 entries across eight categories designed to acknowledge innovation, impact, individual commitment and best working practices, whilst also providing opportunities for those working within local government a chance to step forward and motivate others.
NILGA President, Alderman Arnold Hatch commented, “Over two years on from the reform of local government, we have tackled huge changes right across our councils.
“As community impact grows and performance improves right across the sector, 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 every penny counts.
“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”.
APSE Chief Executive, Paul O'Brien, said, “Communities thrive with innovative local services and after the period of transition to the new councils we are now seeing real evidence of world class work. Recognition in these awards is richly deserved and demonstrates a genuine commitment to delivering excellence in Northern Ireland’s councils for the community they are clearly proud to serve.”
The awards cover eight categories, sponsored and judged by: Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE); William Johnston Memorial Trust (WJMT); Enterprise Northern Ireland; Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE); Oracle; Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA); National Association of Councillors (NAC) and Tourism Northern Ireland.
Nominees were judged by an independent panel and the finalist councils in each category will be invited to attend the gala awards dinner which will follow the NILGA Annual Conference at the La Mon Hotel, Castlereagh on Thursday 12th October 2017. At the event, hosted by Sarah Travers, the overall winners of the 2017 Local Government Awards will be announced.
The finalists for the 2017 Local Government Awards are:
(Finalist councils are listed in alphabetical order)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY SERVICE TEAM
Sponsored by the Association for Public Service Excellence [APSE]
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council (Antrim Castle Gardens Team)
Ards and North Down Borough Council (Food Waste Recycling Project Team)
Belfast City Council (Play Service Team)
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (Grounds Maintenance Unit)
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by the William Johnston Memorial Trust [WJMT]
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council (Samuel Hyndman)
Ards and North Down Borough Council (Julie Ferguson)
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (Matthew Nevin)
BEST ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE BY A COUNCIL
Sponsored by Enterprise Northern Ireland
Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough (Food Heartland of Northern Ireland)
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council (Year of Food and Drink Engagement/Causeway Food Network Initiative)
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council (Invest Lisburn Castlereagh)
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]
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (Food Heartland Inspirational Careers Days)
Belfast City Council (Connswater Community Greenway Project)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY DIGITAL INTEGRATION PROJECT
Sponsored by Oracle
Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon (Developing a Digital Culture: Growing the Digi-Tech Economy)
Belfast City Council (The Connection Vouchers Scheme)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY ELECTED MEMBER DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
Sponsored by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association [NILGA]
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council (Delivering our Corporate Plan through Member Development)
Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council (Use of Elected Member Development Charter to drive successful changes in Member Development)
Belfast City Council (Women Leaders Programme)
Derry City and Strabane District Council (Member Learning Programme)
BEST INITIATIVE BY A COUNCILLOR/ COUNCILLOR GROUP
Sponsored by the National Association of Councillors [NAC]
Ards and North Down Borough Council (Comber Farmers’ Market)
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (Heart City – Community Defibrillators)
Mid Ulster District Council (Aughnacloy College 3G Community Pitch)
BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY TOURISM INITIATIVE
Sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (Georgian Festival 2016)
Belfast City Council (Belfast City Hall Exhibition – A Journey from Past to Present)
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.
The award winners will be announced at the gala dinner which will follow the NILGA Annual Conference, to be held on Thursday 12th October 2017, La Mon Hotel, Castlereagh – full details at www.nilga.org