Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, has been named as the 2020 leader of the year at a national awards ceremony to celebrate the contribution of councillors to their local communities.
The awards ceremony, which was held this evening, is organised by Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) and CCLA with awards granted on a whole range of categories including a special award this year to recognise the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Laing scooped the top prize with fellow north-east councillor Glen Reid of Aberdeenshire Council taking home the community champion award.
Ms Laing said: “I am obviously delighted to win the council leader of the year award.
“I think we have all realised that this year has been exceptionally challenging as a result of Covid and I think that Aberdeen City Council has really stepped up to the plate and made sure the vital services that our local communities depend on have been delivered.
“There has been a huge team effort right across the whole of the city council and I owe a lot of the success in winning that award to those on the ground who are delivering the vital services for the people of Aberdeen.
“It’s a win that I would share with the whole of the council.
“I was delighted just to be nominated to be honest and there was some stiff competition out there but when you get the word you have won it, I was surprised and delighted.”
Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGIU Scotland, said: “We are incredibly proud to unveil the winners of the 2020 Cllr Awards this evening.
“These councillors showcase the best of local government, those who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities during a hugely challenging 2020.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have turned to local government to bring us the place-specific leadership and support for which they are renowned and they have once again delivered.
“The winners are all outstanding examples of a councillor’s commitment to their communities – a commitment that has especially shone through this year. Being closest to the people, councillors are vital to ensuring that communities can thrive during periods of hardship.
“Thank you for your service this year and a huge congratulations to all of tonight’s Cllr Awards winners. We look forward to hearing about your continued accomplishments in the future.”
Heather Lamont, director of client investments at CCLA, said: “We are proud to be the founding partner of the Cllr Awards.
“Working together with LGIU Scotland for the third year running, we always look forward to taking the opportunity to recognise and honour those leading across local government.
“This year has given the awards new meaning. Local government has stepped up to the plate to deliver for communities across the country this year and we are honoured to stand alongside them.
“Life as a councillor can be extremely rewarding – being at the forefront of positive community change. But of course, it’s also extremely hard work, particularly in the current context.
“The hard work done by councillors and council leaders behind the scenes to negotiate the best outcomes for their communities often never reaches the public eye. Which is why we think it’s invaluable to set aside an evening each year to celebrate those achievements.”