COSLA Excellence Awards Finalists Announced
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Fifteen projects from eleven Councils across Scotland have been announced today as finalists for the 2023 Excellence Awards, which are COSLA’s annual celebration of Scottish Local Government success – celebrating the very best of Scottish Local Government.

Scotland’s 32 Councils were invited over the summer to submit entries to a judging panel comprising a number of experts across local and national government as well as the private sector.

After much deliberation our judging teams determined their finalists from dozens of applications of an incredibly high quality. The judges’ shortlist features a series of projects and programmes which highlighted areas of best practice and innovative service delivery over five categories; Service Innovation and Improvement, Achieving Better Outcomes for the Most Vulnerable in Partnership, Tackling Inequalities and Improving Health and Wellbeing, Strengthening Communities and Local Democracy and Just Transition to a Net Zero Economy.

More than 200 applications were received, and the judges had the unenviable task of choosing just three category finalists in each category. A further series of judging days will take place in late August, during which a team of judges led by COSLA President Shona Morrison, and Vice-President Steven Heddle, will decide on a winner in each category as well as the winners of four special awards - COSLA Chairperson’s Award, SOLACE Best Team Award, The Scottish Government – Delivering Excellence Award, and the Excellent People, Excellent Outcomes Award. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at COSLA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition, which will take place on Thursday 28th September, 2023.

Councillor Shona Morrison, COSLA President and Chairperson of the Excellence Awards, said:

“I’m delighted that we are able to announce this year’s COSLA Excellence Awards finalists. It hasn’t been an easy task for our judges to narrow the applications down to just fifteen finalists across our categories, especially given the exceptional high quality of projects and programmes that have been entered by councils across Scotland this year.

“It has been wonderful hearing so many positive and inspiring stories from council teams working hard to deliver valued services in communities right across the country.

“The challenges councils are facing cannot be underestimated. What really shone through from the entries this year was innovation and creativity at a local level to overcome challenges - and the sheer determination from Scotland’s councils to simply make people’s lives better at a very challenging time for all.

“So, huge congratulations to this year’s finalists – it has been a pleasure to hear first-hand about the amazing work going on across our councils. I look forward to our winners being announced at the in-person awards ceremony in September”.

This year’s finalists are:

Category 1: Service innovation and improvement (Sponsored by Food Standards Scotland)

  • Delivering School Meals by Drones – Argyll and Bute Council
  • Stirling Council Healthier Homes Project – Stirling Council
  • 24/7 CCTV/Digital Alarms Hub – Falkirk Council

Category 2: Achieving better outcomes for the most vulnerable in partnership

  • Lighthouse - Perth and Kinross Council
  • Building Skills Together Refugee Integration Project – Dundee City Council
  • Up streaming Prevention of Youth Homelessness - West Lothian Council

Category 3: Tackling inequalities and improving health and wellbeing (Sponsored by Public Health Scotland)

  • Implementing regulate, relate, reason in education - Fife Council
  • Libraries for wellbeing - Falkirk Council
  • Alcohol and substance awareness education resource - Renfrewshire Council

Category 4: Strengthening communities and local democracy

  • Zetland Park Project - Falkirk Council
  • Historic Links to Slavery - Inverclyde Council
  • Joint Bonfire Protocol and Multi-Agency Control Centre - Glasgow City Council, Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability

Category 5: Just transition to a net zero economy

  • Orkney's Community Wind Farm Project – Orkney Islands Council
  • Blackburn as a Climate Action Town – West Lothian Council
  • Sustainable Grass Management Pilot Project – Falkirk Council

Places can be booked for the Awards Ceremony at COSLA's Conference and Exhibition here.