Scarborough Borough Council has scooped the top accolade at a local government awards ceremony in Wakefield.
The authority picked up the overall award for Leadership and Contribution to Yorkshire and Humber at the Local Government Yorkshire and Humber (LGYH) Making a Difference Awards, which were presented by Danni Hewson, Local Government Reporter at BBC Look North.
The award celebrates the commitment and contribution to Yorkshire and Humber made by councils, police, fire and national park authorities. Local authorities that had gone the extra mile to make their local places better and made a significant impact on the development of the region were nominated by LGYH.
Judges said of Scarborough Borough Council’s winning nomination: “This award is one that is awarded by LGYH directly and the reasons given for your nomination were your high profile and impactful work on local government finance, climate change and renewable energy, the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the bid for the new leisure village.
“Also noted were the strong roles taken by Cllr Tom Fox and Cllr Derek Bastiman and the high profile role you have had in European affairs. It was a strong case for nomination.”
In the current financial year, more than £2 million of savings are being made, with the council forced to make a further £2.4 million saving in the next financial year, and £1.4 million in 2013/14.
Amid that climate, the council is at the forefront of efforts to attract renewable energy technology and jobs to the borough, particularly from the wind farm support sectors.
Steady progress continues to be made by the council towards a multi-million pound leisure village in the Weaponness area of Scarborough, which it is hoped will lead to the return of Scarborough’s football team to the town - Scarborough Athletic, currently playing its matches in Bridlington – and see much improved community facilities.
Scarborough Borough Council Leader, Cllr Tom Fox, said: “These are exciting times for the borough and I’m pleased our hard work has been recognised by Local Government Yorkshire and Humber. Despite the difficult financial climate we are in, we remain an outward looking and ambitious council and will continue to work hard for the benefit of residents.”
Scarborough Borough Council Chief Executive Jim Dillon added: “While this award recognises good leadership at local government level in the region, I want to take the opportunity to also praise our staff and thank them for their continued efforts”.
The LGYH Making a Difference Awards 2011 were completely funded by corporate sponsorship and cost nothing for either LGYH to host, or local authorities to attend. The awards were supported by Amey, Shanks, Wakefield and District Housing, Bang Marketing, HayGroup, Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Gold, NPS Group, Connect Communications, YoHr Space and LGA.