Leeds ,

Council scoops three top Municipal Journal awards

Leeds City Council has been named as ‘Local Authority of the Year’ by respected local government publication Municipal Journal (MJ).

In claiming this particular award for the first time, the council was commended by the judges for its ‘consistent and dynamic leadership’ with ‘a clear improvement vision’ especially in to regard to regeneration and health inequalities. The judges of the award noted that winning in this category highlights a local authority’s success not just in one department or project, but right across the council.

The council was also recognised with two other notable awards on the night. This included children’s services claiming the ‘Innovation and Impact’ prize, and the council named with Sevenoaks District Council as joint winner of the Commercialism in Property Estate’ award.

Children’s services drew praise from the judges for their ‘strategic, intelligence-driven approach to supporting children and young people’, which delivered with a ‘strong unity of purpose’ had helped the city achieve a ‘range of better outcomes’. This wide-ranging work had the judges said, resulted in ‘less children in care, better school attendance and more young people in education, employment and training’ in Leeds.

The council’s commitment to ‘not only deliver landmark developments’, but also ‘focus on the little things that matter to the local community’ was also commended by the judges in the ‘Commercialism in Property Estate’ award. This ‘strong determination to lead innovative change’ the panel said, was underpinned by the council using ‘their assets to deliver a range of successful outcomes’.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“We are of very proud to be named by the Municipal Journal as the Local Authority of the Year and pick up two other notable awards for our children’s services and work in property estate. This is a fantastic tribute to the dedication and commitment of our staff across the council, who day-in, day out are working extremely hard to provide a diligent and effective service to the people of Leeds.

“Our ambition to be a compassionate city with a strong economy underpins all of the work that we are doing, and it was very pleasing therefore that both the leadership and vision of the council was also highlighted by the judges as key reasons for the authority winning this award.

“The last few years have undoubtedly been tough and it isn’t going to get any easier in the future with the significant budgetary challenges that remain. I am however confident that by moving forward with our strategic vision for the city, whilst doing everything in our power to protect our key services and most vulnerable, we can continue to make long-lasting improvements that benefit everyone in our city.”

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said:

“This award is a great accolade for our staff and partners who work so hard for Leeds. It gives us one of the clearest indications yet that the approach this council and our staff are taking to all aspects of what we do is delivering benefits for the people of Leeds at what remains an enormously challenging time financially.

"The judges’ verdict on our performance is I believe testament to the strength and effectiveness of the partnerships we’ve been able to build up across the city and to have this recognised on a national platform is a real honour. We will never be complacent and realise we're not the finished article, so we'll continue to do all we can to do the best job for the people of Leeds."

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk