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Kirklees is Council of the Year

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Kirklees Metropolitan Council triumphed as Council of the Year at the LGC Awards on Monday night.

Judges decided that the West Yorkshire authority’s performance management, crime reduction and front-line delivery improvements made it leader of the pack for 2008.

Their decision was revealed before a 1,250-strong ‘who’s who’ of local government at London’s Grosvenor House.

Chief executive Rob Vincent said afterwards that the bedrock of the four-star authority’s success was interaction between staff and residents.

“That is our secret ingredient, alongside a habit of thinking ahead and getting stuck into the challenges,” he said. “We are a community that totally governs itself.”

Kirklees’ success follows a string of high ratings for its services. Mr Vincent said that as well as the council’s overall Audit Commission comprehensive performance assessment rating, he was particularly proud of inspectors’ four-star ‘capacity’

Meanwhile, Derbyshire CC was highly commended in the best council category, with Barnet LBC, Bolton MBC, Fenland DC, and South Ribble BC the other nominees.

Winner of the Most Improved Council category was Barking & Dagenham LBC.

Fifteen other awards were given out at the event, including one for finance, which went to Sevenoaks BC.

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