MID and East Antrim Borough Council has reached the finals of an awards ceremony showcasing excellence in Northern Ireland local government – with nominations in five out of the eight categories.
Pitted against other local administrations, the Council is among the finalists in the 2020 NI Local Government Awards which will take place in Belfast in February.
The Council’s commitment to its people, places and local economy has earned it a place in the final stages of the competition across categories covering everything from helping tackle poverty, to parks and open spaces, and promoting positive mental health.
Details the NI Local Government Awards finalists have been revealed by Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), which said this year’s campaign has seen almost 60 entries received.
The Council is delighted to have been shortlisted in the following categories: Best Local Authority Service Team (Parks & Open Spaces: Putting People First); Best Local Authority Community Planning Initiative (Uniform Exchange); Best Local Authority Elected Member Development Initiative (Elected Member Induction Programme 2019, Corporate Services); Best Initiative by a Councillor or Councillor Group (Cllr Cheryl Johnston for ‘Positive Mental Health in Mid and East Antrim); Best Local Authority Tourism Initiative (Tourism Arts & Culture Section) and Visitor Information Point in Partnership with Private Sector.
The Council’s Chief Executive Anne Donaghy said: “This recognition is befitting of the hard work, vision and commitment of our staff and elected members to Mid and East Antrim and its residents.
“I would like to congratulate all those within #TeamMEA on reaching the finals of the NI 2020 Local Government Awards. I am extremely proud of our forward-looking, innovative and ambitious Council, which continues to lead the way in local government in Northern Ireland.”
Councillor Frances Burton, NILGA President, said: “Councils across Northern Ireland continue to undertake valuable work and dedicate time and resources in order to modernise and improve their areas for local communities, businesses and visitors – as well as wider government and civic society.
“The Local Government Awards are testimony to these services for local people as well as offering benchmarks for wider government and civic society. They provide fantastic learning tools for councils, in an environment where every penny counts.
“We can do things better by learning from the best. This is something NILGA is passionate about, and it is reflected in each of our ambitious and resourceful councils.”
Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Chief Executive, Paul O’Brien, said: “Local councils are the glue that hold communities together.
“Whether delivering on wonderful parks or collecting bins to attracting businesses and engaging in arts, culture and leisure activities it is the efforts of these frontline service teams that make a real difference at a local level. All the finalist councils are deserving of the highest recognition.”
The Awards cover eight categories and sponsor partners/support bodies contributing are: Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE); William Johnston Memorial Trust (WJMT); Enterprise Northern Ireland; Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE); Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA); National Association of Councillors (NAC); Sustainable NI and Tourism NI.
Nominees were judged by an independent panel and the finalist councils in each category will be invited to the Gala Awards Recognition Evening as the culmination of the annual Local Government Conference, “The Future of Local Government” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast, on 20 February 2020.