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Council of the Year is announced at LGC Awards

Greenwich RBC was announced as the Council of the Year last night at the climax of the 2013 LGC Awards ceremony.

The event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel followed a day of live judging for the top two categories in which finalists had to make a pitch to panels of expert judges.

Greenwich beat Derby City Council, Essex CC, Newham LBC, Surrey CC and Wakefield Council to win the top accolade.

The council was presented with its gong by the evening’s host, comedian Alexander Armstrong.

A full list of award winners can be found here.

The judges felt Greenwich’s approach combined a long-term sustainable strategy with successful delivery across a wide range of areas. They were particularly impressed with the council’s focus on growth and investment, and its work with those hit by the benefit cap.

Forest of Dean DC won the Most Improved Council accolade, a category in which Norwich City Council was highly commended.

The judges felt Forest of Dean’s pitch showed how small councils could flourish by focusing on an empowerment and enablement role, rather than merely through directly delivering services.

The evening also saw a Lifetime Achievement Award given to Professor John Stewart and Professor George Jones for their work – stretching across five decades – arguing for the empowerment of local government. Through their work at the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Local Government and the London School of Economics, the two men have made the case for local democracy and against centralisation.

Acting LGC editor Nick Golding said: “The quality of entries to this year’s awards indicates that local government is responding to financial pressure in the way it knows best – innovation.

“At times like this it is particularly necessary to celebrate both the delivery of first-class services and efficiency. Never before has it been so vital to share best practice, to show other councils the amazing things their counterparts have achieved, benefitting people across the country.

“Congratulations to Greenwich, Forest of Dean and the rest of our winners. All are shining examples of local government talent, inspiration and hard work.”