At heart, this category champions the fundamental role that councils and their partners play in driving forward vibrant, prosperous local communities across Scotland. Recognising that solutions to challenges must be sustainable, the award champions projects that are helping create sustainable communities and sustainable development.
Winners have demonstrated their capacity to deliver clear social, environmental and economic outcomes. Their activity may relate to work being undertaken to improve or regenerate the local environment, aid economic recovery, manage resources or energy responsibly, or to foster and develop growth. Small-scale through to large-scale projects are included, but in all cases the winners have demonstrated good practice in terms of community engagement and partnership, how they are helping communities take control of their economic prosperity, and evidenced that their approach represents innovative or best in class performance.
Dumfries and Galloway Council – The Wonderland Experience
‘The Wonderland Experience’ is a themed, interactive, multi sensory, collaborative issue based project which “propels the young audience at high octane speed” through a series of themed zones and consequences that they may face in real life using the theme of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It is a multi-agency approach with the aim and intention to work collaboratively to address the health and welfare risks associated with the excessive consumption of alcohol, risky behaviours such as sexual health and ‘legal highs’ by children and young people to reduce and prevent the associated issues and concerns within the Dumfries area. Wonderland runs at ‘Youth Beatz’ which is an annual youth event aimed at 12-25 year olds with the aim of providing youth services information, activity based entertainment and a large scale music event in Dumfries Town Centre. The Wonderland Experience is truly youth led with young people taking on the lead roles, writing scripts, making costumes, building sets, stage management, creating soundscapes, designing lighting, rig/derig etc. It creates an immersive learning environment with interactive scenarios, with a core group of young people at the heart of it who actively plan, organise and deliver the project alongside professionals from other local agencies, professional performance artists and production teams.
Renfrewshire Council – Renfrewshire School of Sport Education
Renfrewshire School of Sport Education (RSSE) is a sports coaching training and education programme for post-16 pupils still in full-time education. The programme consists of 3 hours of training a week over a 20 week period. During this time, the participants are given the opportunity to develop their leadership, communication and social skills – all essential skills for sports coaching, but also invaluable transferable skills for life and work. The young people then volunteer in local school and communities to influence and inspire the next generation to be more physically active and healthy. This has resulted in the delivery of an ever-growing, sustainable and diverse programme of sports and physical activity across Renfrewshire Council, an essential contribution to developing strong and sustainable communities.
West Dunbartonshire Council – Public Reassurance Initative
The public reassurance model implemented by the public reassurance team is a unique and innovative approach to tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and crime with a strong focus on promoting community engagement within a specifically identified area. The Public Reassurance Team follows the eight progressive stages of the model working in partnership with a wide range of agencies to continually engage with the community and deliver on its priorities for the area. To date the model has been implemented in 4 areas across West Dunbartonshire and has achieved tangible results in reducing youth disorder, ASB and crime and also achieved significant environmental improvements that positively contribute to the physical appearance of the area. Throughout the process the team has identified the issues of concern to the community and has developed approaches which are aimed at achieving sustainable change.
Dundee City Council – Towards a Low Carbon Fleet
Electric vehicles are a vital part of Dundee City Council’s plans for a modern and efficient fleet that deliver our carbon reduction targets, help create a cleaner, healthier city and put Dundee at the forefront of developing the national infrastructure. The Council has become an early adopter of electric vehicles and has worked closely with partners to provide investment that has delivered real savings as well as benefits to the environment by improving air quality, cutting emissions and reducing noise pollution.
South Ayrshire Council – SafeAyr Shore
South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership have developed the SafeAyr Shore initiative which runs over the summer period, to make the Esplanade in Ayr a safe place for both residents and visitors to the area. The initiative involves the co-ordination of additional partner resources aimed at tackling issues of antisocial behaviour over the summer months, such as drinking in public, boy racers, litter and youth disorder. A range of interventions have been put in place, using a problem solving approach to target resources at peak times. In 2012, there was an 11% reduction in incidents relating to complaints and disturbances compared with the summer period in 2011.
West Lothian Council – Boghall Community Week
As a result of heightened community tensions following a series of high impact incidents of disorder the community and partner agencies sought to tackle the lack of trust in the community and in the services provided. The Boghall Community Week brought together a variety of agencies to work in partnership and provide a large array of services to the residents of Boghall. The project maximised use of resources and minimised duplication leading to a reduction in crime, greater awareness of services and local people feeling better about the community in which they live. As a pilot project for community weeks in West Lothian its success has led to the project being rolled out elsewhere within the county.
East Renfrewshire Council – Managed Weekly Collections
In 2009/10 East Renfrewshire had a recycling rate of 36% and sent 31,919tonnes of waste to landfill. While achieving the landfill diversion target recycling performance had taken a backwards step and was down by 2.37% on the previous year. In June 2010 the Scottish Government published its Zero Waste Plan which contained ambitious targets for local authority recycling performance. Against a backdrop of significant budgets constraints and an increasing landfill tax charge (an additional £8 per tonne per year from £48 in 2010 to £80 in 2014), it was recognised that action was required. The aim of the project was to increase recycling performance and reduce waste to landfill incurring minimal costs and operational disruption. Since project implementation, East Renfrewshire’s recycling performance has increased with 54.3 % of all waste being recycled in 2011/12. This puts East Renfrewshire Council at the top of the recycling league table in Scotland. The new collection configuration delivers excellence- not only has it encouraged greater recycling participation but all service changes were implemented with no additional revenue costs and significant savings have been made.
North Lanarkshire Council – Kilsyth CARS
The Kilsyth Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) (April 2007-July2011) was the first CARS to complete in Scotland and has brought significant regeneration to this small town centre, earning strong local recognition for its achievements.