Council projects in line for top awards

Five innovative City of Edinburgh Council projects are going for gold in prestigious UK public service awards.

Urban Allotments, 'Super Tuesday', £eith Decides, 21st Century Homes and 'Winter Weather, Working Together' have all been short listed from over 350 nominations in this year's Association for Public Sector Excellence (APSE) awards.

The five categories they are competing in:

  • Best Local Democracy Initiative: £eith Decides. The local community are given the power to determine the allocation of Community Grant awards up to value of £1,000.
  • Best Housing & Regeneration Initiative: 21st Century Homes. The programme aims to deliver up to 1400 homes for sale and rent over the next eight years. It has been expanded to cover five regeneration sites to deliver a mix of tenures, over half of which will be affordable.
  • Best Public/Voluntary Partnership Working: Urban Allotments. This scheme has seen the transformation of 'leftover' pockets of unused, unloved waste land into thriving community gardens and mini allotments in the city centre and Leith area.
  • Best Community and Neighbourhood Initiative: 'Super Tuesday'. An early intervention project in the Craigmillar area which brings together a range of service providers under one roof every Tuesday helping people with issues like personal debt, rent arrears and welfare benefit advice.
  • Best Service Team Highways, Winter Maintenance & Street Lighting: 'Winter Weather - Working Together'. Following severe winter weather in 2009/10 and 2010/11 major changes were made to the Council's emergency winter weather preparations. Major consultation with stakeholders and the local community. Was central to the new improved emergency plans.

Councillor Andrew Burns, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council , said: "It's a great achievement for Edinburgh to have so many finalists in this year's APSE awards. I would like to congratulate all staff across the Council for their hard work and dedication to providing excellent services for residents which has led to these nominations."

Paul O'Brien, APSE Chief Executive, said: "Over the past six weeks we have all been so proud of all of our Team GB athletes but every day, in every council, we have our own 'Olympians' who, in spite of harsh budget settlements, and even greater demands on public services, continue to go that extra mile to serve the public."

The awards will take place in Glasgow on Thursday 13 September 2012.

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