Last month we attended the Derbyshire Association of Local Councils AGM and the DALC Excellence Awards which celebrates the County’s leading clerks, councillors and councils. BHIB Councils Insurance were the sponsor of the ‘Council of the Year’ Excellence Award which was presented by Lee Cleaver.
Since then we have caught up with Linda McCormick, Town Clerk of winning Council Ripley Town Council, who tells us about their award success and how they are preparing for challenges in 2019.
Congratulations on winning Derbyshire Council of the Year. What does it mean to you to win the award?
I am delighted that we have won this award as the Town Council! My Deputy Clerk and I have worked very hard to fulfill many events and projects for the benefit of the community. Highlights include the advice sessions we host in our local library by CAB, as well as the grants we given to local groups.
What do you feel was the biggest factor in winning this award?
I feel the judges were persuaded by the amount of work we do with many local groups including environmental groups, as well as providing grants for the benefit of the community. Also working in partnership with the Borough Council to provide wonderful sports facilities for football, cricket and a community centre would have influenced the judges.
With 2019 just around the corner, what are the largest challenges do you anticipate Local Councils will face next year?
I see the largest challenges facing Local Councils in 2019 will be the many cuts in budgets and services for County and Borough Councils.
The impact on the community and at local council level means that we will have to try and mitigate the loss of services to residents and the impact on the community as a whole. Keeping our vision, Ripley Town Council aims to make Ripley a better place. We will try and help all those who need it, by building and strengthening relationships with individuals, groups and communities. We aim to create a more secure and inclusive Ripley by helping individuals, families and communities to thrive.
Ripley will work toward a more fairly shared society, seeking to strengthen opportunities for all in education, health, housing, employment, transport, leisure and culture.
Finally, if you could share one piece of advice with your fellow Councils what would it be?
Embrace your community and work with local groups to enhance the environment, lifestyle and benefits for the residents.
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