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HIGH PRAISE FOR LOWEST-TIER COUNCILS

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Today 17 local councils across England have been recognised for their outstanding achievements through the Communit...
Today 17 local councils across England have been recognised for their outstanding achievements through the Community Empowerment Awards, sponsored by the Commission for Rural Communities in association with the National Association of Local Councils.

In its first year, the Community Empowerment Awards invited entries to highlight the good work which town and parish councils carry out every day in the fields of young people, older people, housing and gypsies, travellers and migrant workers.

Judges made up of experts within neighbourhood governance looked for projects which encouraged participation and really engaged with the local community, as well as helping understand and build excellent community relations.

Ken Cleary, chairman of NALC said: 'At this time when the profile of town and parish councils are more prevalent in the minds of central government and other key decision makers than at any other juncture in the past, these best practice champions will help to provide others with the tools to assist in the day to day workings of councils, and enable to sector to meet the challenges of empowering communities and citizens.'

Jaki Bayly, head of best practice at the Commission for Rural Communities added: 'This is just the beginning of what we are hoping to achieve. The winners of these awards will now assist in establishing education networks across the country to enable best practice to be shared throughout the first tier. This will enable a case book of real projects to be available to benefit any council beginning a new scheme'

The 17 regional winners will now go forward to the national competition. With the nationanl winners being announced at the NALC annual conference and exhibition. The regional winners will also be available to provide advice and share their experiences at a session highlighting their achievements on 22 September 2006.

The winners are:

Young People

Great Coxwell Parish Council

Awre Parish Council

Sawtry Parish Council

Hutton le Hole Parish Council

Blakelaw and North Fenham Parish Council

Older People

Leigh on Sea Town Council

Yate Town Council

Dunstable Town Council.

Eastwood Town Council

Penwortham Town Council

Great Aycliffe Town Council

Housing

Hyde Parish Council

High Bickington Parish Council

Martley Parish Council

Cawthorne Parish Council

Slaley Parish Council

Gypsies, travellers and migrant workers

Bishops Stortford

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