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South Somerset District Council shortlisted for the Council of the Year prize at the LGC Awards 2021

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South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has been shortlisted for the Council of the Year prize at the LGC Awards 2021.

The LGC Awards were launched 25 years ago to recognise the achievements of councils across the United Kingdom.

Its judging panel announced on Tuesday that SSDC has been nominated for its top award alongside Caerphilly CBC, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Hounslow LBC, and Salford City Council.

SSDC has also been nominated for the Individual Contribution prize with Katy Menday, our Leisure and Recreation Manager, being acknowledged for the incredible effort she put into setting up the county’s first wellbeing hub at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hub, established at Westlands Entertainment Venue, saw thousands of residents including those at risk of homelessness receive food, vital supplies and other dedicated support in the first few months of lockdown restrictions.

Council Leader Val Keitch said: “We are absolutely delighted to be nominated for these awards which acknowledge the hard work of our officers over the past 18 months.

“I have been so proud to see the way our council has responded to the challenges to the Covid-19 crisis and ensured that the needs of our communities were met.

“Not only did the council move seamlessly to homeworking but was the first regionally to establish a wellbeing hub to support shielded and other vulnerable members of the community, led by Katy Menday who so richly deserves her Individual Contribution nomination. It also moved at pace to support businesses and is recognised as showing best practice in supporting its staff during the crisis.

“However, there is no complacency. We know we can continue to improve our services in a number of areas and we will do all we can to continue to develop to provide outstanding support for our communities, whatever the future holds. This work will include our commercial approach which allows us to not just invest back into services, but deliver three large town centre regeneration schemes, a significant economic development programme, an ambitious programme to tackle climate change, a project to accelerate housing delivery, and a programme of support for struggling families.”

The finalists will find out the results in November with a spokesman for the LGC saying: “We offer our congratulations to all of our finalists and a big thank you to everyone that took the time and effort to enter.

“Entrants demonstrated outstanding practice as well as cutting-edge innovations and the judges were very impressed with the high standard. In what has been an extremely difficult year, to receive such a large volume of entries from so many organisations is amazing.”

LGC editor Nick Golding said: “The past year of Covid response has stretched councils and their staff to the limit, and yet still local government has innovated and provided the leadership places have so desperately needed during the pandemic.

“The LGC Awards are about recognising the most exceptional local government talent – and in this year, of all years, we can really say that those shortlisted have put in a truly heroic performance.”

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