Chambers Ireland has named Leitrim County Council Local Authority of the Year 2007 at its 4th annual Excellence in Local Government Awards, for its proactive and innovative approach to economic and social development in the county.
The awards which were presented at a ceremony in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin last night (08/11/07) in association with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, aim to acknowledge and encourage best practice and constructive initiatives by local authorities.
Leitrim County Council was also joint winner in the Sports & Recreation Award category for the River Front Amenity Park in Carrick-on-Shannon, incorporating a Boardwalk set out onto the water of the River Shannon, and a landscaped Linear Park.
The Council also received commendations in two other specialist categories:
Partnership with Business Award for the Leitrim Expo event, the substantial promotional campaign undertaken to raise the profile of the county as an excellent location to invest and set up business as well as enjoying a great quality of life.
Arts & Culture Award for the eNfore Art Project, an innovative project utilising the Per Cent for Art monies generated by the Dromod Rooskey N4 By-Pass to commission not only a work of art but also a process which engages young people with contemporary public art practice.
Leitrim County Council had been nominated by the Carrick-on-Shannon Chamber of Commerce for a total of four individual awards and for the overall Local Authority of the Year Award.
Cathaoirleach, Councillor Damian Brennan, who accepted the awards on behalf of the Council, said:
“The Award of Local Authority of the Year 2007 is a well-earned acknowledgement of the initiative and the hard work of all the staff of Leitrim County Council and is a direct result of the enterprise shown by the management team across all Departments of the Council, supported by the Elected Members. This award recognises the innovative approach of the Council in leading the continued development of the local economy of Leitrim. Traditionally we faced rural depopulation – now we are seeing new life in rural areas with new houses being built in every parish, a trend which will hopefully continue. Many new businesses have also established in the county in recent years.
The Council has been to the forefront in providing new infrastructure including amenity and recreational facilities such as the Aura Leisure Centre, the River Front Amenity Park, the Dock Arts Centre and the provision of Playgrounds in almost every town and village throughout the county. All of these initiatives have been essential in improving the quality of life in County Leitrim. The initiative of the Council in promoting the county as an idyllic place in which to live, work and do business is really paying off. We may be the county with the smallest population, with the least financial resources and the lowest rate base, but we have the finest workforce, management team and elected Council in the country, making Leitrim County Council worthy of the award of Local Authority of the Year 2007.
I would like to thank the Carrick-on-Shannon Chamber of Commerce for nominating Leitrim County Council for these awards, to compliment them on the work they do in representing their members and to sincerely thank them for the great support and co-operation they provide to the Council.”
County Manager, Jackie Maguire said “We are delighted to have received this national award which is a fantastic achievement for Leitrim, and is a recognition of the genuine commitment and dedication of our Elected Members and Staff to providing innovative and quality service. All members and staff are to be congratulated on their efforts which led to these prestigious awards. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the local community in making the county a better place to live and would like to take this opportunity to thank the Carrick-on-Shannon Chamber of Commerce for recognising our efforts and for nominating us”
Leitrim County Council was presented with a specially commissioned Waterford Crystal trophy.