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Local Government Awards: Winner of Excellence in Environmental Sustainability

Councils throughout Northern Ireland were celebrating last Thursday as nine award category winners of the 2018 Local Government Awards were announced. The event was hosted by Sarah Travers at the Armagh City Hotel.

The awards are co-ordinated by NILGA and the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE), and this year they attracted an unprecendented 78 entries and showcased brilliance in service provision, new initiatives and the personal commitment from councils, councillors, staff and partners.

Winners were announced at the Gala Awards Recognition Evening which followed the NILGA Flagship Annual Conference, 'Building Sustainable Commuities, Delivering a Better Northern Ireland For Everyone', at the Armagh City Hotel on 11 October 2018.

This year Sustainable NI sponsored a new award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability. This award recognises local authorities that are developing new, smarter ways of working that lead to better use of resources, nurture healthy ecosystems, advance environmental wellbeing and/or tackle climate change. 

The winning entry was Derry City and Strabane District Council for their CLIMATE project. This project will tackle climate change on local and regional levels using models of best practice to develop climate adaptation plans for the district. This €1.3m project is part funded by the ERDF Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 and Derry City and Strabane District Council is the lead partner. 

The judges were very impressed by the standard of entries, and especially by the great variety of projects submitted. If the principles in these projects were replicated across all our councils, Northern Ireland would be well on its way to being at the forefront of global sustainable practice.

Climate change was back in the headlines recently following the release of a special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who say that 'urgent and dramatic action from governments and individuals alike' is required. Tomorrow is too late. Local authorities and their partners have the knowledge and skills to act now and make changes in order to keep global temperatures below the limits'.

Photo (l-r) Andrew Cassells (Chair, Sustainable NI), Cathy Burns (Programme Manager, CLIMATE), Cllr Thomas Kerrigan (Derry City and Strabane District Council, Sarah Travers, Cllr John Boyle (Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council)