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.

Aberdeen City Council: A Tree for Every Citizen

This project is aiming to plant and establish a tree for every resident of Aberdeen (approx 210,000) within the City of Aberdeen, at no net cost to the Authority and within the current administration (2007-2012).  This will create in the region of 90 hectares of new woodland.  It will contribute to the Councils commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020; improve the quality and provision of greenspace in the city, especially in residential areas; create woodland which are good for people and  biodiversity to promote nationally important species such as the red squirrel, Daubenton’s bat, and wych elm.  The initial years saw relatively small numbers of trees planted (30,000 in 2007-2009) as sites were being identified for larger scale planting.  In 2010 approximately 87,000 trees were planted with another 93,000 planned for 2011/12.  An important part of the project has been to involve the local communities in the development and implementation of the project.  The project is also contributing to the implementation of the Scottish Forestry Strategy 2006 and a number of UK, Scottish and local Biodiversity Action Plans.

Download more information: SSC 01 A Tree for Every Citizen

Fife Council: Celebrating Fife 2010 – Our Year of Culture

Following on from a major consultation on culture and the launch of Fife’s first Cultural Strategy in 2009, Fife Council endorsed an innovative year-long celebration of culture in 2010.  ‘Celebrating Fife 2010 – Our Year of Culture’ reflected the needs and aspirations of all Fife’s communities and focused on the issue of access to, and participation in cultural activity for all. Funding was allocated for a series of events/projects intended to raise the profile of Fife and strengthen its cultural offering, whilst creating a positive effect in local communities; leading to increased capacity, confidence, esteem, pride and wellbeing. A total of 379 projects and events were delivered under the banner of ‘Celebrating Fife 2010’. At a time of huge economic difficulty, Fife Council recognised the need for investment in its communities; their capacity and their wellbeing.  Its unique strength lies in its link toFife’s Cultural Consortium; the informal partnership organisation with representation from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors, and the support provided by the Cultural Partnerships team.

Download more information: SSC 08 Celebrating Fife 2010 – Our Year of Culture

North Lanarkshire Council: Housing Mediation Service

Our Housing Mediation Service tackles issues such as antisocial behaviour and homelessness. By working closely with our local housing staff, Social Work staff, Strathclyde Police and other agencies in a pro-active cost effective way we are assisting to reduce conflict. Up until 2009, our Housing Mediation Service was specifically designed to deal with antisocial behaviour only and was based within an antisocial team. However due to national and corporate priorities in relation to the prevention of homelessness, as well as our focus on the use of prevention and early intervention techniques, we recognised this service could be greater utilised to provide valuable, additional resources to effectively contribute to creating sustainable, strong communities by reducing conflicts within neighbourhoods and within families.

Download more information: SSC 18 Housing Mediation Service

Safer North Ayrshire Partnership: Multi Agency Problem Solving Group

In recognising that no single agency has the solution to community issues, North Ayrshire Multi Agency Problem Solving Group (MAPSG) was established to galvanise local partners to deliver a high quality service to address the needs of our communities. Improvement has been delivered through enhanced service provision, improved targeting of specific agency’s strengths, better engagement and information sharing with local residents and improved direction and co-ordination of activities. This collaborative work is designed to provide an immediate impact, has energised all agencies and has encouraged local residents to seize the initiative and regain control and pride of their communities. Early feedback indicates that this collective and inclusive approach is dramatically reducing crime and improving community confidence.

Download more information: SSC 23 Multi Agency Problem Solving Group (MAPSG)

Perth & Kinross Council: Waste Services Procurement Programme

The Waste Services Procurement Programme has played a significant role in transforming the way in which the Council manages and processes its waste.  The Programme continues to deliver substantial revenue budget savings through the procurement of sustainable waste management contracts.  The transformation in the way the Service manages procurement has strongly contributed to the Council’s ability to surpass Scottish Government targets for recycling and composting and diverting waste from landfill.  Key results emanating from the Waste Services Procurement Programme are detailed in the Results and Impact section.

Downloadmore information: SSC 04 Waste Services Procurement Programme

West Lothian Council: Children’s Play Area Improvement Programme

In 2009, West Lothian Council embarked on an ambitious and exciting programme of works to improve the play areas in West Lothian.

The total investment in the Play Area improvement programme so far has been £3 million and this has transformed and improved 46 different sites for local children and the communities they serve. The largest programme of works ever undertaken, our aim was to deliver a programme of Play Area improvements on time, within budget and with a lean staff resource, thus achieving exceptional value for money.

During the process we have also been able to achieve a strong sense of place, reduce vandalism and provide greater accessibility to our play facilities. This programme of works has exceeded expectations and is improving the play experience throughout West Lothian, contributing to our outcomes to make West Lothian a better, healthier place.

Download more information: SSC 09 Children’s Play Area Improvement Programme

Scottish Borders Council: Integrated Newlands Centre and Primary School

In 2003,NewlandsPrimary Schoolfaced closure. The community responded to this challenge through Newlands Community Development Trust (NCDT) working with Scottish Borders Council (SBC) to deliver two projects in tandem; the community-owned Newlands Centre adjoining a refurbished Newlands Primary School. Newlands Centre is a comprehensive, community-owned and controlled asset, the result of committed community action, the need for empowerment in the face of school closure and the need to impact on and improve the quality of rural life. SBC will rent the modern spaces it needs from the community itself, for the time it needs it only and will provide an anchor income stream which, with additional community-use income, will support the sustainability of the Centre, its rural services and ultimately secure the rural community itself into the future. The building works will be completed and the Centre will be opened by the end of October 2011. The refurbished Primary School will to continue to deliver education, now to School of the Future standards.

Download more information: SSC 21 Integrated Newlands Centre and Primary School

Renfrewshire Council: Safer Renfrewshire Partnership

Renfrewshire, and indeed Paisley, suffers from a legacy and unenviable reputation for violence and antisocial behaviour.  The Safer Renfrewshire Partnership has received national recognition and brings together key resources not only to tackle and address issues but also to sustain and maintain safer and stronger communities by addressing the root of the problem.  A number of joint initiatives have been established over the past three years including Safer Paisley Town Centre Plan, Graffiti Removal Campaign and Caseload Management.  These innovative initiatives are now part of normal working practices, addressing the issues raised by communities in Renfrewshire and delivering a 16.2% reduction in violent crime, 16.9% reduction in incidents and 27.4% drop in vandalism over the past three years.

Download more information: SSC 28 Safer Renfrewshire Partnership