Headlines: February 19th, 2003

Five Scottish councils and one police force have won this year’s Excellence Awards in a scheme run by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to recognise outstanding quality of service to the public.North Lanarkshire, Dundee City, Dumfries and Galloway, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian Council took first place in the five main categories. North Lanarkshire Council won the award in the Customer Focus category for its Supported Employment Initiative and then took the Best Team Award for the Carers as Partners scheme run by its social work department. West Lothian Council also took two awards – first in the Innovative Technologies section and then the Chair’s award for its education service social inclusion partnership.

Strathclyde Police took the Scottish Executive’s Delivering Excellence Award for the force’s community safety work in connection with the North Glasgow International Festival. Dundee’s award was for conserving resources. Dumfries and Galloway won the Community Planning category and South Lanarkshire were successful in the Lifelong Learning section.

The awards, which recognise best practice by councils across Scotland, attracted 142 entries this year. COSLA Vice President George Purcell, who chaired the judging panel, described them as truly brilliant.

“Scotland’s councils continue to surprise the judges with their demonstrations year after year of the first class services they deliver which benefit communities the length and breadth of Scotland,” he said. “What is also pleasing is that year on year we are seeing even more innovative and exciting projects designed to meet specific needs. This proves that local government does not just deliver the everyday services that we all take for granted but that it provides imaginative solutions to complex situations throughout the year,” he added.