NALC's Star Council Awards are the only awards in England that recognise local (parish and town) councils' contributions to their communities. The long-running awards celebrate local councils, councillors, young councillors, county associations and clerks' positive impact on their communities. The winners will be announced at a parliamentary reception in the House of Lords on 29 November 2023.
Council of the Year (Sponsored by Blachere Illumination)
Braunstone Town Council, Leicestershire and Rutland
Braunstone Town Council (BTC) has demonstrated remarkable achievements across various initiatives, showcasing their dedication to community welfare and progress.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the council initiated a comprehensive support service two days after the first lockdown. This service, closely coordinated with the district council, catered to residents' essential needs, helping with shopping, mailing, and more.
A pivotal effort was made to enhance transportation and recreational opportunities through improved walking and cycling connections. In collaboration with various councils, the initiative sought to facilitate cycling and walking routes, establishing vital links within the community connecting transportation hubs, retail zones, leisure spots, and employment areas.
Recognising the need for accessible healthcare, especially in regions with limited GP services and transportation challenges, the council worked closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to set up a GP branch surgery. The strategic location of this facility in the community centre significantly alleviated accessibility issues for residents, further serving as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.
Another notable achievement was the transformation of land initially designated for road construction into a park, achieved through collaboration with planners and developers. This initiative contributed to the community's well-being by repurposing land for recreational use, aligning with sustainable urban development goals.
Regarding cultural and educational enrichment, the council effectively managed the community library, ensuring the retention of paid staff while incorporating volunteer opportunities to drive community events and social inclusion initiatives. These efforts ranged from children's reading sessions to heritage displays, emphasising diverse educational and cultural activities.
Furthermore, substantial improvements were made to crucial community spaces. The significant refurbishment of the sports pavilion, tennis courts, and play area in Shakespeare Park, coupled with initiatives like warm spaces to address rising fuel costs and inflation, reflected the council's dedication to enhancing community facilities and managing the residents' immediate needs.
Moreover, recognising the urgent need to address environmental challenges, the council adopted a forward-thinking climate change & environmental strategy. The aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050, coupled with substantial carbon reduction initiatives like installing solar PV panels and electric vehicle charging points, showcased their dedication to sustainability and a greener future.
Councillor of the Year (Sponsored by Breakthrough Communications)
WINNER: Cllr Lorna Berrett, Botley and North Hinksey Parish Council, Oxfordshire
Cllr Lorna Berrett has worked tirelessly during her eight years as a councillor to improve the services offered by Botley and North Hinksey Parish Council and to develop new services, making contributions towards improved parish facilities such as public art, new play equipment, bus stops and the running of valued events such as the Remembrance Day service.
The clearest example of Cllr Berrett’s positive impact is the leading role she took to ensure that vulnerable residents were supported during the COVID-19 pandemic. She worked with the district council to find volunteer support for shielding residents and set up the ‘Botley Responders’ network for rapid information sharing during lockdown. Three years later, the Botley Responders are still going strong with Cllr Berrett’s involvement.
Before joining the council, Cllr Berrett was part of a group that set up the community’s first website for local information. Under her leadership, the council established a Communications Committee, which Cllr Berrett chaired for eight years. She also led the council’s transition to a modern website and set up its Facebook page. Cllr Berrett actively updates these platforms and responds quickly to public queries raised through them. She also engages directly with residents through in-person events and the Botley Responders network.
Two recent examples show how Cllr Berrett manages challenges to deliver successful projects. She leads a public art project that has seen new murals and sculptures installed in a redeveloped shopping centre, mediating between stakeholders including artists, residents, an arts charity, district council officers and the shopping centre’s management company to arrive at final products the community enjoys.
Cllr Berrett also chaired the Management Committee for a new community hall that opened in 2020, working with contractors and committee members to ensure that the facilities were delivered as planned and met the community’s needs.
For several months before the recent election, Cllr Berrett personally encouraged many residents to stand as a councillor.
Now serving as council chair, Cllr Berrett puts in extra effort to ensure the smooth transition of new councillors by helping with forms, e-mail addresses, and general concerns. She simultaneously led the selection and appointment of the council’s new clerk and responsible finance offer.
Finally, serving the public remains Cllr Berrett’s primary motivation. A great example is her organisation of the ‘All in One Room’ event in December, which brought together around 100 local volunteers who were thanked for their contributions and encouraged to share ideas and good practices across local organisations.
Young Councillor of the Year (Sponsored by DCK Accounting Solutions)
WINNER: Cllr Cameron Palin, East Cowes Town Council, Isle of Wight
Cllr Cameron Palin has exhibited exceptional dedication and innovation in enhancing the local community, establishing significant initiatives that have positively impacted the town.
As one of the key figures spearheading the creation of a community market hosted in the town hall, he has facilitated a monthly event showcasing up to 15 Small Market Enterprises. This initiative has broadened the choices for residents with locally sourced products and provided crucial support to local businesses.
Moreover, he was pivotal in supporting a local charity to establish a community hub. This hub organises free events courses and serves as a Ukrainian support hub. Additionally, he was instrumental in establishing a new community building and library. This multi-functional space has become a hub for various community events, housing a library, a tourist information point, and council offices.
Cllr Palin's proactive approach is evident in his involvement in a council-led group focused on collaborating with the local ferry operator to alleviate congestion in the town. He consistently engages with the community through monthly surgeries in vital community spaces, effectively addressing residents' concerns and informing them about council plans and outcomes from previous meetings.
Moreover, his excellent communication skills are showcased through various channels, including a yearly newsletter, extensive use of social media for public engagement, and consistent personal presence at community events and meetings. He strives to make the community's voice heard and actively involves residents in local decision-making processes.
Cllr Palin demonstrated exceptional organisational abilities and collaborative teamwork by overseeing major events like Party in the Park, Queens Jubilee, and the Kings' coronation. His ability to recognise his strengths and delegate tasks demonstrates his commitment to successful project execution. His dedication is further highlighted by his ability to balance his role as a town councillor with a full-time job, family responsibilities, and other community roles.
Lastly, his active engagement with residents in the ward and collaboration with other councils exemplifies his dedication to representing and advocating for the community's best interests. His proactive and innovative approach has led to significant positive changes and improvements.
County Association of the Year (Sponsored by CCLA)
WINNER: Essex Association of Local Councils
The Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) has made significant strides in enhancing its services and support to meet the evolving needs of its membership.
Restructuring the workforce, including critical appointments of a grant funding administrator and an experienced head of member enquiries, has proved highly beneficial, receiving positive feedback and regular engagement from clerks, chairs, councillors, and local associations.
Central to EALC's success is its responsive approach, gathering structured feedback to tailor training courses that align with their members' needs. They have expanded their training offerings, covering essential topics such as budget and finance, allotment management, CiLCA, and practical subjects like playground inspections and cemetery administration. Courses are scheduled during and outside regular office hours, focusing on popular weekend sessions.
Member satisfaction remains paramount, gauged through continuous feedback from various stakeholders. EALC actively seeks improvements and efficiency in communication, employing tools like 'Mailchimp' to efficiently disseminate correspondence, email blasts, and newsletters. This system aids member contact improvement, tracking unread emails and ensuring critical communications are acknowledged and addressed.
Collaboration with grant funding partner organisations like Essex County Council and the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is fundamental. EALC is proactive in facilitating timely grant applications, administering 359 funds worth £668,302.50 during the last financial year to address pressing needs in Essex.
A notable achievement is EALC's vigorous promotion of Local Council Award Scheme accreditation, with a rising number of member councils achieving this recognition. EALC actively supports its members at all levels, providing unlimited access to guidance and support via various channels, including email, telephone, and one-to-one sessions.
EALC's commitment to quality training is underscored by investments in enhanced multimedia audio-visual systems, improving accessibility to in-house and online courses. Additionally, they have expanded their meeting and training facility, further aiding compelling learning experiences for participants.
Moreover, EALC's engagement extends beyond training, with senior executive members and staff actively participating in community initiatives and serving on high-profile bodies. These engagements provide valuable insights and information to members, reinforcing the importance of the local council sector and advocating for their needs at both county and national levels.
Clerk of the Year (Sponsored by Cloudy IT)
WINNER: Andrea Mann, Odiham Parish Council, Hampshire
Andrea Mann's tenure at Odiham Parish Council in Hampshire since November 2019 has been transformative. She revamped internal processes, enhancing financial transparency and budgeting proficiency. Andrea introduced innovative initiatives like the Village Centre Action Plan, shaped by community consultation, leading to successful grant acquisitions for community projects. The council completed multiple community improvements while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Andrea's remarkable contributions have elevated the council's performance and community engagement, making her a standout leader.
Andrea diligently collaborated with councillors and the community after a 2018 vote of no confidence for the council due to poor community communication. Her efforts resulted in Odiham winning Hampshire Association of Local Councils (HALC) Council of the Year in 2021 and Village of the Year in 2022. She fostered extensive community engagement and volunteer involvement in various projects. Moreover, Andrea provided crucial support for nine out of ten newly appointed councillors in 2019, enabling them to navigate their roles within legal parameters effectively. Her leadership has restored the council's relationship with the community and empowered its council members.
In 2019, when Hampshire County Council (HCC) announced the closure of the Odiham branch library, community discontent surged. Andrea stepped in and skillfully negotiated with HCC. Her efforts led to transferring the building to the council and establishing a thriving volunteer-run community library boasting over 600 active members. Undertaking the restoration of a Grade II listed building with maintenance needs proved to be a monumental task. Andrea secured grants for repair, renegotiated leases, managed utility contracts, and crafted a compelling business case for the building's further development as a community hub in collaboration with councillors. Andrea's unwavering tenacity propelled remarkable progress despite pandemic-related challenges such as material shortages and escalating costs.
Andrea excels in striking a delicate balance between council leadership and bolstering councillors in their roles. She fosters open dialogue, offers valuable suggestions, conducts thorough research, and actively seeks external funding for projects. Andrea has expertly established frameworks that encourage collaboration between councillors and community members, ensuring that outcomes align with residents' priorities.
Recent successes under her guidance include the installation of picnic benches in the council-owned recreation spaces, adding a new community hub restroom, and a comprehensive program to restore 70 council-owned benches, complete with a map showcasing locations and suggested walking routes. Andrea has also orchestrated vibrant street parties for the Jubilee and Coronation, delighting around 2,000 residents with diverse entertainment offerings. Her leadership shines in these community-enhancing initiatives.
Council of the Year (Sponsored by Blachere Illumination)
Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council, Northumberland
Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council (NMSPC) has demonstrated impressive achievements, showcasing proactive community engagement and strategic partnerships.
One notable collaboration has been with Forest England (FE) in managing the 100-hectare Swarland Wood. A strong working relationship has been cultivated, with volunteers from the parish undertaking essential tasks to enhance walking and riding routes within the wood.
Working persistently with the county council, the parish council successfully advocated for accepting responsibility for unadopted back-lanes crucial to the historic Fountains Abbey settlement in Swarland. Acting as intermediaries, they facilitated a smooth relationship between residents, new caravan, and lodge site owners, showcasing their role as community connectors.
In environmental responsibility, the parish council has taken a proactive stance, jointly working with neighbouring parish councils on climate change initiatives and cemetery management. They have also demonstrated financial support to local services through their budget, encompassing contributions to village halls, community projects, and general grants for external organisations.
The council has showcased a solid commitment to community engagement by reviving a local sports charity and forming a new charity to manage it, exemplifying its dedication to rejuvenating neglected facilities. They actively organise and facilitate diverse volunteer activities, emphasising inclusivity and community participation in various events and initiatives.
Effective communication is a cornerstone of their approach, with established community newsletters and a local Facebook page maintained by volunteers providing a platform for diverse voices and ideas. Public engagement is further encouraged through standing items like 'public questions' in meetings and gatherings on crucial topics to seek community input.
In addition to fostering a can-do attitude and actively pursuing new service suggestions from the community, the council regularly reviews their parish plan to ensure relevance and alignment with evolving community needs. The direct involvement of councillors in practical work and networking with other communities and relevant bodies further amplifies this proactive approach.
Sherborne Town Council, Dorset
Sherborne Town Council (STC) has demonstrated impressive achievements, highlighting a commitment to community engagement, sustainable practices, and collaboration with local organisations.
In commemorating the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the council collaborated with the Sherborne Area Schools Trust to plant trees and time capsules in local schools, fostering a sense of honour and community participation. The town celebrated the Coronation of King Charles III with a vibrant family event, showcasing live music, entertainment, and a laser show in the principal gardens, emphasising community togetherness.
Youth engagement is a priority for the council, as they work closely with the Salisbury Diocese and local schools to establish a youth council, giving young people a platform to voice their opinions and concerns. Additionally, the council supports local businesses through initiatives like Fiver Fest and Festive Shopping Days, providing funding and organisational support. Free parking days were organised to boost tourism and aid local businesses.
Investing in community facilities and amenities, the council enhanced play areas and introduced a new sensory garden. They initiated a community fridge, provided start-up funding for the successful Independent Sherborne Market, and introduced an online booking system for the Digby Community Hall.
Regarding environmental sustainability, the council have invested in parks and open spaces, employing measures like tree planting, verge management, and wildflower areas. They collaborated with the Sakura Project and the Woodland Trust for significant tree-planting projects, aligning with green ethics and innovative ideas.
Communication and engagement are paramount for the council. The council appointed a communications officer and actively utilised social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with the community.
Sherborne Town Council has taken ambitious steps forward with a dedicated focus on green ethics, innovative initiatives, and improved communication, as outlined in its forward plan. They have embraced sustainability, community engagement, and growth, showcasing a holistic approach to enhancing the quality of life for residents in Sherborne.
Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Parish Council, Bedfordshire
Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Parish Council has made significant strides in engaging with the community and fostering collaboration with various stakeholders. Their approach involves having council representatives across sectors such as borough council services, community policing, local businesses, and educational institutions. These representatives actively attend meetings, correspond on behalf of the parish council, and report back to the council, ensuring a close connection with the community.
The village's growth due to housing developments presented challenges, particularly regarding effective communication with developers. The parish council responded by facilitating dialogues between residents and the developers' senior team through a community meeting, displaying their commitment to addressing the residents' concerns and working towards a resolution.
A key focus for the council has been the health and well-being of the parishioners. They have initiated various projects and partnerships to support this, including establishing an outdoor gym and a new pump track for the youth. Moreover, collaborating with the Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner for a family fun day during the track's opening showcases their commitment to providing recreational facilities and fostering community engagement.
Maintaining a visually appealing and clean environment is also a priority, evident in their efforts to ensure the village remains vibrant with hanging baskets and daily litter-picking. The diverse range of councillors, spanning different ages and representing distinct parts of the parish, underscores their commitment to representing the entire community effectively.
In terms of communication, the council employs multiple platforms, including a quarterly printed newsletter, a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram, and a direct messaging service for residents. Their engagement on social media platforms and the ability to respond promptly to inquiries demonstrate their accessibility and dedication to open communication.
Through proactive initiatives, investment in youth facilities, and community engagement efforts, Stewartby & Kempston Hardwick Parish Council has revitalised its role. It is working diligently to enhance the quality of life for its residents. Their hands-on approach and dedication exemplify their commitment to making the village an excellent place to live. They showcase their readiness to adapt to modern communication methods to effectively reach and engage with the community.
Wellington Town Council, Somerset
Wellington Town Council has achieved significant milestones, reflecting its dedication to community development, environmental preservation, and collaboration with various stakeholders.
They have partnered with district and county councils to preserve the town's green spaces and heritage sites. This includes leasing 64 acres of open land known as the Green Corridor (GC), underscoring their commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles, local food production, and arts and cultural spaces. Additionally, they provided financial support to open a heritage at-risk site to the public, demonstrating their commitment to heritage conservation and accessibility.
Establishing a GC Advisory Board consisting of local stakeholders and agencies signifies their inclusive approach to decision-making and sustainable management of the GC. Collaborating with organizations like Wellington Community Food, Transition Town Wellington, and the Woodland Trust demonstrates a community-centred approach towards managing and developing the GC for the benefit of all.
Active participation in the Wellington Community One Team reflects their commitment to supporting vulnerable community members, including children, young people, and older people. By coordinating efforts with statutory and voluntary agencies, they contribute to the early identification of needs and provide essential support.
In addressing transportation needs, they collaborated with relevant authorities and developers to deliver a new railway station for the town, aiming to improve connectivity and enhance its infrastructure.
Financial support through service-level agreements and grant funding to organizations such as Citizens Advice, Reminiscence Learning, Wellington Community Counselling, and MIND Somerset demonstrates their dedication to the well-being and mental health of the community.
Engagement with the residents through consultation exercises, community events, and the Pop-Up Shop allows for open dialogue and feedback collection, ensuring that the community's needs and preferences are considered in various initiatives and plans.
Moreover, their initiatives in promoting local food production, supporting traders and crafters through the Pop-Up Shop, and creating a community hub showcase their commitment to economic development and community engagement.
Working closely with schools to promote community engagement through Civic Awards and annual prizes highlights their efforts to nurture civic responsibility and involvement among the youth, fostering a sense of community from an early age.
Councillor of the Year (Sponsored by Breakthrough Communications)
Cllr Bakul Kumar, Lickey and Blackwell Parish Council, Worcestershire
Cllr Kumar has worked tirelessly since becoming a councillor to improve services in Lickey and Blackwell, taking on responsibilities, raising the council's profile in the community and initiating and leading the council through the Local Council Award Scheme, culminating in the council receiving the Foundation award last year.
Cllr Kumar has provided the energy and organisation for many community events and competitions, including community litter picks, weekly community walks, Christmas events, best front garden competitions, residents' afternoon tea, supporting other group's events by appearing and giving talks and writing the copy for and delivering the council’s newsletters. He also asks county councillors for funding to pay for community events and services.
Cllr Kumar is now the chair of Lickey and Blackwell Parish Council and is also involved with the Worcestershire County Association of Local Councils.
Cllr Kumar finds opportunities to meet and engage with the community whenever possible. He walks the village streets every day and stops to talk to everyone. He volunteers to help out at the community hall, tries to help residents with their complaints and is always available by telephone or email.
Cllr Kumar will keep trying to achieve his vision for the community despite residents' apparent lack of interest, funding, or red tape. For example, Cllr Kumar had a vision for a weekly community walk. This would be a means of engaging the community, getting people out and exercising and helping residents get to know each other. Initially, no volunteers were willing to come forward to lead the walk. However, Cllr Kumar pushed the district council to find someone, and eventually, a volunteer was found, and the walks were able to begin. He also found funding from outside the council to pay for a room where walkers could relax and chat over a cup of tea afterwards. He promoted the walks and made them popular, and now 10-20 people attend each week.
Finally, if something needs to be done and nobody else is available to do it, Cllr Kumar will put himself forward. The council’s annual report and newsletter are hand-delivered to every household in the parish. When the councillor who usually arranges this in March was unable to do the job, Cllr Kumar stepped forward to help get the newsletters to their deliverers. When the defibrillator needed an emergency repair, and the clerk was on holiday, Cllr Kumar sorted it out.
Cllr Sandra Miller, Eversley Parish Council, Hampshire
Cllr Miller was on Eversley Parish Council for six years before leaving due to family and other commitments. Since rejoining in 2022, she has rejuvenated the council with her energy and infectious enthusiasm.
Cllr Miller has an amazing can-do attitude. In such a short space of time, she has recruited a new speed watch team and saved the village hall from closure.
Cllr Miller can be seen around the village, talking to residents and determining their priorities.
She has engaged with the community in many ways, including as a school governor, a councillor and by sitting on the village hall committee. The community has responded well to all these roles, including volunteering to help with litter picks and pond management.
A prime example of Cllr Miller’s influence could be seen earlier this year when she used the local Facebook page, word of mouth and notices in the village shop, school and elsewhere to let the community of Eversley know they were in danger of losing their village hall. A meeting was called, and Cllr Miller mobilised the whole community to attend, with the result that in just a few short months, the village hall went from imminent closure back to a thriving community hub. Cllr Miller was then instrumental in organising a celebratory picnic, inviting the over 80’s, collecting them and providing a free picnic.
The community in Eversley comprises five hamlets, which in the past saw themselves as separate communities and rarely came together. Cllr Miller has overcome this by listening to what each area wants and needs and supporting spending in all areas of the village and across all age groups, from the nursery and preschool to services supporting the elderly.
Finally, Cllr Miller works tirelessly to get things done. When the pond needed clearing, she was in her waders. She has also been litter picking with her family, decorated the village hall, manned the speed watch early on Sunday mornings and watered the plants at the village gates. Most of this is beyond the remit of a parish councillor, but she is passionate about her village and community.
Cllr Martine Naughton, Trull Parish Council, Somerset
Cllr Naughton joined Trull Parish Council in May 2022 and significantly impacted both the council and the way the community interacts with it. She set up social media channels so the public could communicate directly and in real-time. She assessed communication for community members unable to access digital technology and ensured a wide range of mediums, including posters, flyers, newsletters and the parish magazine, were used to get to as many people as possible.
Cllr Naughton initiated spending on local amenities. She project-managed the installation of new children's play equipment in the park and complemented it with furniture, a storytelling area and gym equipment, catering for all ages and ensuring everyone in the community could enjoy the park.
She has been instrumental in ensuring the park’s facilities are hired and profitable to reinvest revenues in maintenance and improvements. She recently set up a gardening club and is currently working on a project to bring in a village storyteller to read to children in the park during the summer holidays. In doing so, she has injected energy and enthusiasm into a previously quiet and disconnected council.
Cllr Naughton uses social media, online padlet boards, physical notice boards, newsletters at local care homes and writes for the parish magazine. She regularly arranges events for the public, including parties in the park for the Jubilee and Coronation, smaller events such as seed and plant swaps, and story time for the local children.
When decisions have been unpopular, she has dealt with members of the public with kindness and professionalism. When it transpired that some people were using the park to run their businesses, she confidently and politely negotiated with them to ensure they understood the park's operations and business model.
She is also very focused on ensuring community cohesiveness and raising Trull's profile within the wider Somerset Council portfolio.
She is also chair of the Playing Field Management Committee and has created documentation and policies that explain to the public the reasons for charging commercial organisations who hire areas of the park.
Finally, Cllr Naughton is currently working with volunteers in other wards to help them negotiate their council processes to improve their local parks.
Cllr Mark Pengelly, Corby Town Council, Northamptonshire
Cllr Pengelly was elected to the newly created Corby Town Council in April 2021 and elected leader in May 2022. Without his vision, town events would not have continued following the loss of the borough council.
In particular, he was passionate about reviving the ‘Spirit of Corby,’ an awards evening nominated and voted for by the public.
Cllr Pengelly has a great rapport with the community. He was recognised by the people living on Corby’s East Lloyds estate with a blue plaque as a thank you for the dedication he showed serving as a borough councillor for over a quarter of a century.
Cllr Pengelly has worked hard to maintain connections in all community areas and is aware of what the people of Corby value. An example is Corby’s first-ever Pride festival, held in June 2023. Cllr Pengelly suggested creating a working group of councillors and members of the public with a passion in this area. Over 3,000 community members attended the event, and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
The transition from borough to unitary has been challenging, and Cllr Pengelly has always worked hard to ensure that officers and councillors between the town and unitary have worked together to achieve projects.
An example is when a large grant was allocated to Corby to revive the town centre and high street post-COVID-19. The grant needed spending in a very short period, and the scope of the allowed spending was narrow. At the time of receiving the grant, officer posts were not established, so Cllr Pengelly liaised with the town centre team and unitary council to ensure that the grant was awarded and that free events such as craft workshops for children and live music went ahead.
Cllr Pengelly also actively encourages and helps younger councillors stay engaged with the projects.
Finally, Cllr Pengelly has provided connections within the community to work on joint projects. An example is the beacon lighting event held for the Queen's Jubilee. A ‘friends of’ group had worked on this in previous years, and Cllr Pengelly contacted them and arranged for the restoration of the beacon so it was in working use for the jubilee event.
Young Councillor of the Year (Sponsored by DCK Accounting Solutions)
Cllr Freya Davies, Flore Parish Council, Northamptonshire
Cllr Freya Davies, an elected member of Flore Parish Council since May 2021, has demonstrated remarkable dedication and involvement in various community initiatives at 18.
Before her election, she actively attended parish council meetings for two years, showcasing a genuine interest in community affairs. Upon assuming office, Cllr Davies eagerly took the role of Youth Crime representative, attending police liaison meetings to raise awareness about youth crime in the area and bring it to the forefront of the council's attention.
One of Cllr Davies' notable contributions has been her editorial role in the parish council newsletter, an integral part of the Flore Messenger. This newsletter provides valuable information from parish council meetings, including planning applications, committee reports, and upcoming meeting dates. Additionally, she took the initiative to start a Youth Council, engaging with the local Primary School to enlighten students about the parish council's role within the community, showcasing her commitment to educating the younger generation.
Not limited to her council duties, Cllr Davies actively engages with the community through her involvement with the Cubs, Scouts, and the local church.
She has also leveraged social media by administering the parish council's Facebook page, allowing for effective dissemination of vital information such as road closures and minutes of parish council meetings. Her efforts established stronger connections with the primary school, reinforcing the relationship between the council and educational institutions.
Despite juggling the responsibilities of her A-level studies, a burgeoning career, and independent living, Cllr Davies consistently attends all council meetings and has actively contributed to reviewing the council's Business Plan. Her resilience and enthusiasm in managing multiple roles and her commitment to community engagement have made her a widely recognised and respected member of the Flore Parish Council.
Freya Davies is a commendable finalist, embodying the values of dedication, community engagement, and effective leadership within the local context.
Cllr Callum Reilly, Corby Town Council, Northamptonshire
Cllr Callum Reilly, elected at 26, has showcased remarkable dedication and engagement during his tenure at Corby Town Council, mainly through his involvement in the Environment and Events Committees.
In the Environment Committee, he initiated a school competition inviting local young children to design a logo, leveraging his role as a Safeguarding Officer in a primary school to promote the competition and environmental awareness among under 11’s throughout Corby. This effort illustrated his proactive approach to engaging the community, especially the younger generation, in critical civic matters.
Within the Events Committee, Cllr Reilly’s impactful contributions included delivering a powerful presentation on Holocaust Memorial Day and chairing Corby’s inaugural Pride working group, pioneering new initiatives for the council. He led public consultation meetings and a training session with the LGBT+ community to understand their preferences for Corby’s first Pride event, demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity and understanding diverse perspectives.
Cllr Reilly’s connection with the community has been exceptional, established through voluntary work during the pandemic, including delivering care packages to the vulnerable and setting up a community choir during lockdown. This reflected his empathy and concern for community wellbeing and showcased his ability to organise and mobilise support during challenging times.
His leadership during the Pride event demonstrated adept crisis management skills, addressing sensitive issues like including Drag Queens at a family-friendly event. Cllr Reilly’s calm and fair approach ensured a compromise and resolution, showcasing his ability to navigate complex situations and diverse opinions within the LGBTQ+ community.
Furthermore, Cllr Reilly’s proactive nature and innovative thinking were evident in his contributions to various council events. He initiated changes in event formats, promoting engagement, education, and understanding within the community. This included setting up the Chordless Choir during the COVID-19 lockdown, providing a platform for socially isolated residents to build confidence and perform at council events, and emphasising inclusivity and community support.
Moreover, Cllr Reilly’s responsiveness to social media inquiries and proactive approach to addressing individual concerns underscore his dedication to the community’s wellbeing and willingness to go beyond his duties to assist residents in need.
Overall, his achievements showcase a dynamic and engaged approach to local governance, highlighting his capacity to foster community involvement, manage sensitive situations, and enhance the inclusivity and vibrancy of the community he serves.
Cllr Josh Rowlands, Faversham Town Council, Kent
Cllr Josh Rowlands, who joined the Town Council in 2021 and later became Chair of the Community Committee in May 2022, has made significant contributions, and displayed exceptional dedication during his tenure.
One notable achievement was spearheading the establishment of a youth service level agreement. Drawing upon his understanding of young people's needs, he actively participated in the selection process, conducting interviews with tenderers and collaborating with the successful contractor to ensure optimal value for the council.
Cllr Rowlands has showcased strong leadership by engaging in challenging dialogues with the contractor, addressing concerns about the delivery of youth services. He meticulously assessed the evidence, identified inconsistencies, and discussed potential solutions. Additionally, he maintains regular interactions with young individuals to understand their desires for the town, actively advocating for initiatives such as a petition for a pump track.
Beyond his political roles, Cllr Rowlands has been transparent about his mental health struggles, contributing articles to the council's platforms to raise awareness about youth mental health and the cost-of-living crisis. He actively engages with residents, frequently holding informal surgeries in local cafes, and collaborates with businesses to explore schemes like pay-it-forward and warm banks, especially during winter.
Despite facing personal challenges, including dyslexia and ADHD, Cllr Rowlands has organised informative exhibitions during dyslexia and neurodiverse awareness weeks, emphasising the importance of neurodiversity. He has championed the concerns of young skateboarders, advocating for improvements to the skatepark or finding a safer alternative location, demonstrating an empathetic approach to community concerns.
Cllr Rowlands' appointment as Deputy Mayor of Faversham, making him the youngest individual to hold this title at 32, is a testament to his dedication and representation of a diverse demographic. He aims to be an accessible councillor, bridging generational gaps and promoting openness, particularly about mental health. He actively engages with young individuals, offering the mayor's parlour as a space for them, showcasing a commitment to inclusivity and community engagement.
Cllr Luca Webb, Chepping Wycombe Parish Council, Buckinghamshire
Cllr Luca Webb, a young and dedicated Chepping Wycombe Parish Council member since 2021, has significantly impacted community engagement within the parish.
One of his notable achievements was his pivotal role in supporting the establishment of the community pantry, a local food bank affiliated with the Flackwell Heath church. He passionately advocated for the pantry's grant application to the parish, successfully swaying initial hesitations and showcasing its unique and vital contribution to the community.
Cllr Webb initiated the council's presence at the monthly local market and annual fete in Flackwell Heath to bolster community interaction. He actively engages with residents, addressing their concerns and questions, further enhancing the council's visibility and accessibility within the parish. Cllr Webb has been instrumental in revitalising the council's social media outreach, leveraging platforms like Facebook to promote Council activities and engage with the community effectively.
Addressing the anti-social behaviour (ASB) issue within Flackwell Heath, Cllr Webb demonstrated proactive leadership. He engaged with the community to organise meetings with the police, fostering discussions about ASB and discouraging the formation of potentially divisive local vigilante groups. Through consistent updates on social media, Cllr Webb has kept residents informed about the ASB challenges, ensuring transparent communication about necessary repairs and replacements in affected community spaces.
Additionally, Cllr Webb is actively involved in rejuvenating a local sports area, a project laden with challenges related to green belt regulations and utilities. Undeterred, he has contributed several innovative ideas and solutions to overcome these challenges, demonstrating his commitment to community improvement and persistence in the face of obstacles.
Despite being the youngest council member, Cllr Webb has seamlessly integrated into the council's operations, participating in various projects and working groups. His dedication to staying informed, even attending meetings via digital platforms while juggling academic and professional commitments showcases his passion for community service.
Through his involvement in the local history group and engagement with various aspects of parish life, Cllr Luca Webb has brought a fresh, younger perspective to the council, enriching the discourse and contributing to a more vibrant and dynamic local government.
County Association of the Year (Sponsored by CCLA)
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils (BMKALC) provides invaluable support and contributions to the local council sector in Buckinghamshire. In the region, there are many small rural local (parish and town) councils with limited resources, BMKALC is essential in enriching their capabilities and effectiveness.
BMKALC stands out for its proactive and constructive approach, always ready to support and guide individual clerks and councillors. The association offers crucial training programs, a fundamental component of their service, empowering local councils with knowledge and skills essential for efficient functioning. The pivotal role BMKALC plays in liaising with Buckinghamshire Council and advocating for local council interests is especially noteworthy.
A commitment to continuous improvement is evident in BMKALC's operations, exemplified by their active solicitation of feedback and meticulous evaluation of training events. They harness diverse sources of expertise, including legal advice and collaboration with other county associations, ensuring accurate and reliable guidance for their members.
BMKALC's dedication to value for money is commendable, particularly in facilitating the participation of smaller council members who might otherwise face resource limitations. Their thoughtful provision of affordable training, such as the Knowledge Bites program, enables broader engagement from councillors despite time constraints. The association extends its support to member councils through preferential training rates and a wide range of benefits, covering vital domains like communications, human resources, finance, planning, and climate change mitigation.
The evident innovation and enterprise characterising BMKALC's operations are demonstrated by initiatives like the reinstated annual conference, showcasing their adaptability and dedication, particularly in the post-pandemic landscape.
Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils
The Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils (GAPTC) has significantly advanced community engagement and knowledge sharing among its members through targeted networking sessions.
Recognising a need for focused networking from member feedback after training sessions and advice service, these monthly events are meticulously curated, addressing timely and relevant topics. Members are consulted on areas of interest, and member councils or related organisations provide presentations. This approach fosters interaction, allowing clerks and councillors to exchange experiences, seek advice, and make recommendations.
The success of these networking events is evidenced by the substantial attendance, with 20% of GAPTC's membership regularly participating. Remarkably, 103 out of 216 councils attended at least one session, underlining the impact and reach of these initiatives. Including district and county councillors enriches the discussions, ensuring a flow of information across governmental tiers. Separate events for clerks and councillors further enhance their engagement, focusing on pertinent subjects and enabling meaningful exchanges.
Aligned with GAPTC's 2022-26 Strategic Objectives, these sessions significantly add value to the membership, facilitate dialogue, and effect change through community engagement. The wide array of topics, ranging from youth engagement to emergency sessions on food and fuel crises, demonstrate GAPTC's proactive response to pertinent concerns. The attendees' positive feedback and high likelihood of recommending these sessions underscore their value and effectiveness.
A notable aspect of these networking sessions is their accessibility and inclusivity. Being conducted online and free of charge, they ensure a broad reach, allowing councillors and clerks from diverse locations to participate without travel costs or time constraints. These events provide a crucial platform for councils to interact with decision-makers in higher tiers of government, amplifying their voices and concerns.
Moreover, GAPTC demonstrates foresight by inviting external presenters and collaborating with partner organisations to showcase a range of ideas and services to its members. The recorded sessions further extend the reach, being shared through the organisation's YouTube channel, thus expanding the dissemination of valuable insights and information.
In conclusion, the Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils has created a thriving networking environment, fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and effective engagement among its members. These initiatives align with strategic objectives, enriching the organisation's reputation and promoting professionalism within the town and parish councils in Gloucestershire.
Warwickshire and West Midlands Association of Local Councils
The Warwickshire and West Midlands Association of Local Councils (WALC) has made remarkable strides in climate engagement and community support through their active participation in the national Local Climate Engagement Programme (LCE).
Their collaboration with the Warwick and Stratford LCE project group has led to the development of the South Warwickshire Climate Engagement (SWCE) programme, addressing a range of crucial needs within member councils.
WALC has played a pivotal role in supporting member councils in responding to the climate emergency, particularly those that have declared a climate emergency but are still determining the necessary actions. Their network-building efforts have fostered peer support, facilitated knowledge sharing, and disseminated learning and opportunities among member councils.
One of the critical strengths of WALC is its high standards, which have directly contributed to the success of various initiatives. Their active involvement as steering group members has provided essential insights into local councils' challenges and opportunities in climate action and engagement. Additionally, they worked closely with Forum for the Future to design and deliver a comprehensive database of local climate action in South Warwickshire, aiding networking, mapping climate action, and program decision-making.
WALC's efficient use of funding from the LCE project group has resulted in valuable outcomes, including upskilling their officers to support local council engagement on climate and creating opportunities for funded climate engagement. Moreover, their innovative initiatives, such as a one-day-a-week secondment to District Councils and supporting ongoing programs, have significantly benefited town and parish councils.
Their unique approach to a just transition within small rural communities and the application of participatory democracy principles in engagement delivery sets WALC apart. Their emphasis on partnership working, locally-centred knowledge, and inclusive engagement demonstrates the value that an Association of Local Councils (ALC) brings to climate engagement and community development.
West Sussex Association of Local Councils
The West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC) has showcased resilience and adaptability during a challenging period, marked by a vote of no confidence in the former Chair and the subsequent reformation of the Board.
This new Board conducted a comprehensive review of operations and costs, leading to a reduction in membership subscriptions and the effective outsourcing of administration support to a reputable local firm with extensive knowledge and experience in member training and advice.
Recognising the importance of member engagement, WSALC revamped its governance structure based on the needs and concerns of its membership. The Board, guided by the Chair, diligently collaborated with district representatives to foster efficient area clusters representing member concerns and seeking solutions through proactive engagement with principal authorities.
A notable aspect of WSALC's accomplishments is its commitment to providing accessible and valuable emergency advice to members, particularly in legal, financial, and planning matters. This support extends to critical areas such as business planning, resilience planning, borrowing for capital projects, forums, newsletters, a comprehensive training program for clerks and councillors, mentoring, recruitment, locums, and conflict resolution.
WSALC has consistently demonstrated a commitment to financial prudence by negotiating reduced subscriptions for software and offering training at subsidised rates or for free. Their effective relationship with the Police and Crime Commissioner's Office and Sussex Police has allowed for direct input from member councils into crucial forums, fostering better local liaison and regular meetings with Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
Moreover, WSALC actively promotes the civility and respect pledge, assisting councils in upholding good behaviour and encouraging clerks and councillors to remain in their roles. They engage in SLCC meetings, keeping stakeholders updated on current workstreams and representing the interests of local councils at a broader level.
In response to complex planning consultations, WSALC provided invaluable assistance to members by commissioning draft summaries and suggested answers, aiding councils in understanding the proposals' implications. They also displayed forward-thinking by developing a reusable recruitment film to encourage diverse representation in the 2023 local elections, recognising the vital role of diverse perspectives in local governance.
Clerk of the Year (Sponsored by Cloudy IT)
Brie Logan, Shaftesbury Town Council, Dorset
Brie Logan's time at Shaftesbury Town Council in Dorset has been extraordinary. As a leader who leads by example, her boundless enthusiasm and exceptional communication skills have united her team, councillors, stakeholders, residents, and unitary officers in a mission of excellence. Brie's ambitions for Shaftesbury far surpass typical small-town council objectives, igniting inspiration throughout the community. Her keen eye for possibilities and funding avenues has led to her realising numerous strategic priorities. Notably, she secured £500k for a state-of-the-art 3G football pitch, financed by a loan repaid through income generated by a new car park, an ingenious solution addressing town centre parking shortages while promoting accessible sports facilities for all.
From day one, Brie prioritised community engagement, forging partnerships with local organisations, volunteers, and stakeholders. This collaborative approach has cemented the council's reputation as an integral part of the community. Brie faced the challenge of repairing strained relations with the principal authority due to disruptive councillors. Rather than isolating them, she worked to encourage their participation, demonstrating remarkable professionalism and diplomacy. Her commitment to understanding individual councillors and staff members has harnessed their strengths, fostering a united effort for the council and community.
Brie's unwavering dedication to her role and community-focused approach has set high expectations within Shaftesbury. Her ability to proactively address emerging issues, such as securing a private car park for market traders, demonstrates her commitment to preempting potential challenges and criticism. One of Brie's standout achievements has been the transformation of St James's Park play provision. She navigated funding uncertainties and managed public feedback with finesse. Her rapport with stakeholders ensured the project remained on budget, overcoming resistance from vocal doubters, resulting in an acclaimed and unanimously approved play area that delighted even the community's youngest members.
Her private sector background has enriched the council's decision-making process, emphasising data-driven choices over perception-based ones. Notably, she swiftly pedestrianised the High Street during the COVID-19 pandemic, aligning stakeholders' interests to create a permanent change supported by over 80% of businesses and the public.
Brie Logan's transformative leadership at Shaftesbury Town Council has not only elevated the council's performance. Still, it has also inspired a culture of community collaboration, innovation, and results-driven governance. Her exceptional achievements make her a beacon of excellence in local government leadership.
Carl Hearn, Tavistock Town Council, Devon
Carl Hearn's extensive experience spanning various tiers of local government has positioned him as a guiding force at Tavistock Town Council in Devon. His leadership demonstrated his financial acumen and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic when the council faced a significant income reduction due to commercial rents. Carl managed the council's finances effectively and maintained the council's staffing levels.
One of Carl's remarkable strengths lies in his relationships with legal and professional advisors, making multi-professional collaborations highly effective. Tackling complex legacy issues, he leads the council through intricate decisions, consulting with experts and relying on his extensive experience to provide valuable guidance to council members. Carl's influence extends beyond Tavistock, as neighbouring parishes frequently seek his knowledge and experience, a testament to his reputation as a trusted advisor in the region. Known for his professionalism and composed demeanour, Carl is readily accessible to council members and staff, resolving disputes through respectful dialogue, resulting in rare conflicts within the council.
Carl's profound understanding of principal authorities and his network within the professional landscape facilitates effective communication. He currently spearheads a collaborative effort between the town and district councils, Business Improvement District, and Chamber of Commerce to challenge on-street parking charges imposed by the county. His diplomatic approach towards the county authorities aims for a mutually beneficial resolution.
Under Carl's leadership, Tavistock achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the first local council to execute a 5-year, £2.2 million Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme, promoting town centre regeneration and preserving heritage assets. In a separate endeavour, Carl played a pivotal role in rescuing the endangered Grade II heritage building, the Guildhall, converting it into a gateway centre for the UNESCO Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Despite the challenges, the project earned a World Heritage Site Award and is now accessible to the public. Carl's prowess in grant management is evident in successfully securing National Lottery Heritage Fund grants totalling nearly £2 million for the THI and Guildhall projects, complying with stringent criteria and conditions.
Carl is unafraid to undertake ambitious projects, often unusual for a local council, providing leadership and guidance to ensure their success. Moreover, he manages major town events, including the historic annual Goose Fair, which attracts up to 20,000 visitors.
Carl Hearn's remarkable leadership, financial acumen, and collaborative spirit have propelled Tavistock Town Council to new heights while influencing local governance across various levels and regions. His dedication, accessibility, and visionary approach make him invaluable to the community and the broader local government landscape.
Lisa Courtney, Saffron Walden Town Council, Essex
Lisa Courtney, the clerk at Saffron Walden Town Council in Essex, has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to the council's vision and the community's wellbeing. She oversees 23 staff members responsible for various aspects of council operations, from administration and finance to tourism and facilities maintenance.
Lisa's ability to turn vision into action is evident in several successful initiatives. She secured a former bank to create office space and rentable rooms, optimising the council's premises and increasing revenue. Lisa's introduction of the tourism e-shop and expanding the product range with bookable food tours have boosted tourism and economic development. She also excels at securing grant funding opportunities, benefiting the community through programs like Essex City Council Food Support Funding and Essex Activate. One of Lisa's most notable achievements is the establishment of the groundbreaking Jubilee Hub, a thriving community partnership that enhances local services and engagement. She has consistently held developers accountable to ensure the highest standards for public spaces, advocating for residents' interests.
Furthermore, Lisa is actively involved in renewing the town's twinning arrangement with a German town, fostering international relationships for the benefit of the community. Her enthusiasm, efficiency, and approachability make her a highly effective and beloved leader in Saffron Walden. She has also organised events to raise awareness, such as a wellbeing over 40 menopause awareness event, and ensured staff received dementia awareness training.
Lisa's leadership style is characterised by fairness, kindness, patience, and respect, fostering a positive working environment with high staff retention and strong team spirit. Her commitment to her team extends to crafting individual gifts for each member at Christmas. Under her leadership, the council has expanded its services, creating six new staff positions and two new councillors following a community governance review.
Lisa's collaborative approach extends beyond the council, as she actively engages with neighbouring councils and maintains productive relationships with principal authorities. Her problem-solving skills, no-nonsense approach, and perseverance have overcome challenges to bring projects to fruition. She has adapted to changing circumstances, introducing innovative solutions such as council e-shops, outdoor events during COVID-19, and even a beach of imported sand on the common. Her financial acumen has generated new income streams, strengthening the council's financial position.
Lisa Courtney's tireless efforts, innovative thinking, and compassionate leadership have significantly improved the Saffron Walden community's wellbeing and quality of life. Her commitment to turning vision into action and her unwavering support for her team and community make her an exemplary Saffron Walden Town Council leader.
Louise Dwelly, St Ives Town Council, Cornwall
At its core, leadership is the ability to inspire and guide others toward achieving shared goals. Louise Dwelly exemplifies this essential quality through her unwavering commitment to progress and her capacity to influence change in various aspects of her role. Her leadership transcends expectations, setting new standards for councillor support, partnership collaboration, community engagement, and achievement. Her involvement in the G7 summit elevated the town's international status, cementing its reputation as a world-class visitor destination.
One of Louise's most significant contributions is initiating and leading in crafting the council's strategic plan. This plan clarifies vital values and priorities, ensuring the council remains on the right path. Louise's influence extends to councillors through her sharp written reports, compelling communications, and quick thinking during formal meetings, where she often makes decisions on the spot. Beyond the council chambers, Louise wields her influence to build partnerships with key stakeholders, addressing critical community issues like transportation, low-carbon initiatives, affordable housing, and community safety. Her approach is characterised by creativity and collaboration, fostering a sense of unity and purpose.
Communication is one of Louise's greatest strengths, a cornerstone for building and nurturing relationships. She has initiated and fostered partnerships with external stakeholders, expanding the capacity to tackle cross-cutting issues. Notable endeavours include acquiring and reposing a community hospital and relocating the Archive Centre to a new town centre location. She engages and actively supports organisations whose missions align with the council's objectives. Her ability to empower and support employees is evident through her problem-solving skills, empathy, and unwavering focus on crucial issues, ultimately leading to achieving goals. This empowerment extends to councillors, enabling them to perform to their full potential.
Louise's presence in the community is visible and action-oriented. Her ability to get things done has elevated the council's reputation among residents, local bodies, and the wider local government community. While Louise relies on the support of staff and councillors, she often serves as the linchpin around which activities revolve, ensuring completion.
The council's most significant challenge, devolving services from Cornwall Council, was met with Louise's unwavering determination. She spearheaded a comprehensive devolution strategy, which resulted in an integrated devolution package encompassing over 50 functions/assets, many requiring enhancement for local benefit.
Undoubtedly, Louise's dedication knows no bounds. She pushes her limits, generously giving her time and commitment to surpass expectations. There are no limits to her capacity at times, a testament to her relentless pursuit of excellence and progress. Louise is not just a leader; she is a transformational force, redefining excellence in leadership.
Ryan Hayman, Swanley Town Council, Kent
Ryan Hayman's time at Swanley Town Council in Kent has been marked by transformative leadership and a strategic vision that has revitalised the council's direction and enhanced its impact on the community. One of Ryan's most significant contributions has been the development of a ten-year strategic vision. This vision was crafted through extensive engagement with council members and a deep understanding of the community's needs and aspirations. It provided a clear roadmap for the council's activities, aligning them with the long-term goals of the town.
Ryan's leadership extends beyond the vision setting. He actively empowers council members, offering guidance, support, and training opportunities. His commitment to enhancing their skills and abilities ensures they can effectively contribute to the council's work, encouraging a more capable and engaged team. A hallmark of Ryan's leadership is his role as a bridge between the council and the community. He engages with residents, local businesses, and stakeholders, actively seeking their input and feedback. This open and transparent communication builds trust and ensures that the council remains responsive to the community's evolving needs.
Internally, Ryan has cultivated a collaborative and inclusive environment within the council. He encourages open communication and teamwork. This approach has resulted in increased staff retention, demonstrating a solid and cohesive team that works effectively together. Externally, Ryan's engagement with stakeholders, including local businesses and community organisations, has been instrumental. He has established relationships based on trust and respect through regular networking and consultations. It has enhanced the council's reputation and secured resources for local projects and initiatives, benefiting the entire community.
Financial stewardship has been another area of Ryan's expertise. Despite challenges like the loss of around £250,000 in 2020/21, he has overseen remarkable economic growth, with finances increasing by £300,000 in just two years. His adept financial management allowed investments in crucial community assets, such as constructing a new water park at Swanley Park and The Barnyard Soft Play Centre, transforming loss-making facilities into sustainable assets.
Ryan's commitment to environmental conservation is evident in initiatives like installing eight EV chargers and planting 3,771 trees across sites. He also prioritised flood protection by constructing a new balancing pond and bund, safeguarding the community against potential flooding. His determination to address critical community needs is exemplified in projects like the £250,000 skatepark, sports facilities worth £300,000, and establishing a nursery in Swanley Park. These initiatives not only enrich the town's recreational offerings but also create job opportunities and enhance the well-being of residents. His visionary leadership at the council has not only revitalised the council's direction but also yielded tangible benefits for the community.
Clear Councils Insurance
BHIB Councils Insurance provides specialist insurance and risk management services to local and parish councils.
BHIB Councils Insurance is part of BHIB Ltd, one of the UK’s leading independent commercial insurance brokers with a proud history of over 50 years. We continue to improve our services as a proud member of the CLEAR Group, delivering bespoke insurance programmes and advice to the public, private and charity sectors and membership organisations.
No two councils are the same. That’s why BHIB provide a range of insurance options to protect not only your council’s assets and liabilities but also your clerks, councillors, and volunteers. From public liability, employer’s liability, and property damage insurance to the provision of risk management advice and useful templates, BHIB Councils Insurance are on hand to support you.
Blachere Illumination has been creating festive lighting for over 50 years with care and passion. They are global leaders in the production of eco-responsible lighting, as well as a new summer range.
Being the manufacturer, Blachere can help with the entire process and any budget size. They have a dedicated staff team ready to help you create a magical scheme. The Bioprint and Recyprint eco ranges can help councils achieve elements of their climate plans.
Breakthrough Communications is a specialist communications company that helps local councils connect with their communities.
Their experienced team has decades of combined professional experience in the world of communications and engagement - many of them have also served as councillors and clerks. That means they understand the importance of good communication, effectively building engagement and the unique world of parish and town councils.
They use their wide range of skills to help supercharge council communications, whatever your needs and requirements.Whether it's communications strategies, social media support, neighbourhood plan engagement consultations, council annual reports, resident surveys or consultations, and a range of other done-for-you and on-demand services, they've got your council covered.
CCLA aims to help investors maximise their impact on society by harnessing the power of investment markets. They have been investing responsibly and ethically for more than 50 years. They don’t claim to have the answers to many societal challenges. Still, they have specific skills and an interest in social and economic justice, which makes us unique in the investment industry. They are very interested in talking to delegates about what more ‘good’ they could do together for a better world.
CCLA Investment Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
CloudyIT is proud to collaborate with NALC to sponsor the Star Council Awards, which recognise local councils' exceptional dedication and hard work in the parish and town sector.
For councils in England and Wales, CloudyIT offers a range of essential services, including:
- Decisions – Meeting and agenda management software
- Broadcasting solutions for council meetings
- Apps for local government – parks, allotments, assets, greenspaces, cemeteries and more
- IT support and staff training
- Connectivity, telephony and EE mobile phones
To learn more about our services for councils, please visit their website.
DCK Accounting Solutions
DCK Accounting Solutions has built a reputation as the industry leader in providing accounting solutions to local councils with a client base throughout England and Wales.
Services provided include preparation of full outsourced accounting services, annual accounts, budgeting assistance, specialist advice on VAT & payroll, plus advice and feasibility work relating to capital projects.
Young people, and young councillors, in particular, are vital to the future of our sector of local government, and we are proud and privileged to be supporting them in their efforts to develop the spread of the sector’s work.
LAST YEAR'S AWARDS
Watch last year’s online ceremony again below or on YouTube.