Hounslow wins Council of the Year

The London Borough of Hounslow was named Council of the Year at a Mayfair awards ceremony on Thursday.

The Local Government Chronicle (LGC) judged Hounslow the best in the country for consistently delivering high quality services and making significant improvements to the lives of its residents.

It bested finalists Caerphilly CBC, Cheshire West & Chester Council and Salford City Council in a process that involved detailed submissions, an immersive visit to Hounslow and live judging at a final event on Thursday afternoon.

Leader of the Council Steve Curran said: “This award is testament to the people of Hounslow and the outstanding effort of colleagues across the Council.

“In one of the most testing years in our country’s history, LB Hounslow didn’t just deliver – we harnessed the passion of a brilliant voluntary sector, the business sector and residents across the borough to improve the lives of residents.

“We’re accepting this award for the people of Hounslow.”

The black-tie ceremony welcomed 1100 guests to the Grosvenor House, celebrating the achievements of local government for the first time since March 2019.

LGC Editor Nick Golding said of Hounslow: “Year in, year out, you’re innovating. You’re improving services. You’re offering support to those needing it most. However, over the past 20 months you’ve been something else.

“You have protected your communities. You have safeguarded the vulnerable. You have fought for your local economies. And you have outshone central government.”

Hounslow Council CEO Niall Bolger said: “I’m so proud of the work we’ve been able to do to help our wonderful, vibrant, diverse borough through a difficult year.

“This is a really proud moment for hardworking Council colleagues, community groups, businesses and most of all residents who care about and take pride in this outstanding borough.

“We will continue to deliver in a One Hounslow spirit – and have more work to do to recover from the impact of Covid-19.”

Stephen Clark, Green Party candidate for Brentford West in Hounslow, offered his congratulations to Hounslow Council but said it was not doing enough to combat climate change or reach net zero by 2030.

He said: “If you came to Hounslow, you wouldn’t immediately think you were in a borough that warrants such an award, especially looking at the state of the roads and pavements and the regularity of rubbish clearance.

“I don’t want to be pouring cold water on their achievements, because some councillors have done a good job, but it’s not obvious that we’re living in an area of such excellence.”

Clark criticised Hounslow’s developments for using too much embedded carbon and steel, and called for more imagination regarding sustainability.

Hounslow was also Highly Commended in the Future Places category, which recognised councils using emerging technologies to make their areas more sustainable, healthier, less congested, more connected, and prosperous.

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