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LGCAwardsCotY_432_tcm21-141046Congratulations to my colleagues on Hammersmith and Fulham which has been named Council of the Year at the annual Local Government Chronicle awards ceremony.

Judges praised the Council for ‘doing something very special in difficult times’ by reducing council tax four years in a row whilst improving services.

H&F has reduced council tax by 3% for the fourth consecutive year while its services have been recognised by the Audit Commission as being amongst the best in the country. H&F has also seen the largest increase in council satisfaction and value for money scores in the country.

The judges’ citation for the Hammersmith & Fulham entry said:

“This council is doing something very special in challenging times. The whole of local government is expected to deliver more for less but this organisation is a leader.

“With a very strong leader and a clear vision it is reducing council tax while improving services and resident satisfaction.”

Council leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh said:

“In these tough times we are committed to providing our residents with the very best services at
the lowest possible cost. Everyone at H&F can be very proud of this achievement.”

Geoff Alltimes, Chief Executive of H&F, said:

“This award recognises the very clear vision that has been set out by councillors and the pride, passion and hard work of our staff in helping provide the very best services for our residents.”

Last year's winner was Leicestershire also a Conservative Council. Other Conservative councils which won awards this year in various categories include Southampton, Essex, Croydon, Redbridge, Sevenoaks, Bournemouth, Chester West and Chester and Leeds.

Naturally I think the main award this year is particularly well deserved – but given the judging panel I am frankly astonished. It is a triumph for objectivity over prejudice, of truth over falsehood and of hope over fear. Setting a course for radical change was never designed to win establishment approval via a procedure of consensus – yet in this instance it has done so.

Now we will see what verdict the rather larger judging panel delivers on May 6. The canvassing seems to be going OK.

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