Barking and Dagenham Council has been named ‘Council of the Year’ at the 22nd Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.
The awards recognise local authorities’ approaches to innovation, particularly despite the cut to funding by central government.
Around 1,000 of senior figures in local government across the UK gathered at Grosvenor House in London on 21 March for the annual awards ceremony, hosted by Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow.
Barking was shortlisted for five categories including housing, community involvement, driving growth and was commended for its housing initiative.
The judges remarked on Barking's approach to transport and affordable housing strategies: "Barking and Dagenham is facing both huge challenges and opportunities and is forging a new relationship with citizens: "'Ambition 2020' is a radical reshaping of the council based on the delivering these recommendations and new engagement with residents."
The winners of the awards were selected by panels featuring council chief executives and other senior council officers who interviewed representatives of the shortlisted councils.
Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell revealed the win to investors and developers at a busy launch of issue 10 of BOLD magazine the following evening, held at Londoneast-UK business park in Dagenham.
"Last night, we got told that we were shortlisted for five awards, and I thought, ‘that’s interesting’, because four years ago, we would never have thought that we'd be nominated for any of the awards.
"We came first for regeneration, and this is why I said what I said at MIPIM; anyone can build bricks and mortar, but it’s hearts and minds that make it a community."
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