Image above: LB Hounslow team celebrate their win at the LGC Award ceremony
LB Hounslow has won the Council of the Year award in the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards. The Awards are the biggest event recognising the achievements of officers and politicians in local government.
At a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London judges named Hounslow the best Council in the country for consistently delivering high quality services and making significant improvements to the lives of its residents.
The LGC described this, their 25th year of awards as a “truly epic year,” with a near record number of entries. The judging process involved detailed submissions, an immersive visit to Hounslow and live judging at a final phase event on 4 November.
Image above: LB Hounslow Leader Cllr Steve Curran (right) with members of his Cabinet and Chief Executive Niall Bolger (third from right)
Hounslow “humbled and delighted”
The team from Hounslow, including the Leader of the Council, Steve Curran and CEO Niall Bolger, accepted the award in front of an audience of more than 1,100 of their professional peers.
Leader of the Council Steve Curran said: “This award is testament to the people of Hounslow and the outstanding effort of colleagues across the Council.
“In one of the most testing years in our country’s history, LB Hounslow didn’t just deliver – we harnessed the passion of a brilliant voluntary sector, the business sector and residents across the borough to improve the lives of residents.
“We’re accepting this award for the people of Hounslow”.
CEO Niall Bolger said: “We’re humbled and delighted”.
“I’m so proud of the work we’ve been able to do to help our wonderful, vibrant, diverse borough through a difficult year.
“This is a really proud moment for hard working Council colleagues, community groups, businesses and most of all residents who care about and take pride in this outstanding borough.
“We will continue to deliver in a One Hounslow spirit – and have more work to do to recover from the impact of Covid-19.”
Image above: Breaking ground for a new housing development in Brentford; Cabinet Member Cllr Katherine Dunne and Council Leader Cllr Steve Curran
Why did Hounslow win the award?
LGC Editor Nick Golding commenting on the work of all local authorities this year said: “Year in, year out, you’re innovating. You’re improving services. You’re offering support to those needing it most. However, over the past 20 months you’ve been something else.
“You have protected your communities. You have safeguarded the vulnerable. You have fought for your local economies. And you have outshone central government”.
Explaining why Hounslow won overall, the judges said:
“This council consistently delivers high quality services and shows it is making significant improvements to the lives of its residents. Its compelling narrative has depth and breadth, and the quality of the relationship between chief and leader is strong, as is the collaborative culture between council and community.
“Its work on affordable housing, with numerous different means of intervening in the market, is particularly impressive.”
Work started in Brentford High Street at the end of October which will see 96 new Council homes built as part of Hounslow’s pledge to deliver 1,000 new Council homes by May 2022.
The development is one phase of the regeneration of Brentford High Street which covers over 11 acres. Overall, the Ballymore development will deliver up to 800 new homes, as well as retail and office space.
READ ALSO: Meanwhile in Brentford
Hounslow Council has pledged to secure an additional 5,000 new and affordable homes by 2022 including 3,000 new Council and Housing Association homes for social rent and 2,000 for shared ownership and other affordable housing.
In September the Council sent out a £20 voucher to all local residents to spent with local businesses to try and give them a boost. Businesses in Chiswick have told The Chiswick Calendar they have found it has brought them new customers.
Image above: LB Hounslow Director of Public Health Kelly O’Neill explaining Covid measures outside Hounslow House
Public Health teams honoured
The event also saw all directors of public health and their teams honoured with the Editor’s Special Award in recognition of the vital role they played in protecting their communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hounslow’s Director of Public Health Kelly O’Neill has worked tirelessly to prevent the spread of Covid and keep residents up to date with events in combatting the virus.
Hounslow also Highly Commended for use of emerging technology
Hounslow Council were also Highly Commended in the Future Places category. The Future Places Award recognised councils using emerging technologies to work with partners and the public to make their areas more sustainable, healthier, less congested, more connected and prosperous. The overall winner in this category was LB Hammersmith & Fulham.
Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford & Isleworth Tweeted:
‘What brilliant news! Congratulations to @LBofHounslow Councillors and officers. You have achieved so much, despite incredibly difficult budget pressures caused by 11 years of Government-imposed austerity cuts’.
Images above: Celebratory photos at the black tie ceremony
West London Waste team also win award
West London Waste Authority won the ward for Team of the Year for the best small team in local government.
The authority is the statutory waste disposal authority for west London, responsible for disposing of waste collected by the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames.
About 1.7 million people live in this area, which covers 38,000 hectares. Each borough is represented by one chosen Member, who is a Councillor in their respective borough.
The judges said: “Hugely impressive team that brought about a transformation in their service during the Covid pandemic for recycling and repurposing of waste for their local community and to address climate change goals.
“We loved the way they were changing the perceptions of the team and their customers that waste is a resource and has a social value working with community organisations who are upcycling.”
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