South Tyneside crowned co-operative council of the year after public vote - as leader praises 'strong community spirit'
South Tyneside Council has reason to celebrate after its local authority was named as the Co-operative Council of the Year at an awards ceremony.
The borough scooped the Co-operative Council of the Year prize – a prestigious accolade that honours co-operative councils across the UK for their commitment to their communities and to the co-op principles.
South Tyneside was chosen as the winner following a public vote. There were six councils shortlisted for the award.
A co-operative council is one that works in partnership with local community organisations to get the maximum from an area’s available resources.
In doing this, it builds the four key values of honesty, openness, fairness and social responsibility into its day-to-day business.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said, “Research shows South Tyneside Council is the third hardest-hit by central government cuts and we have 54% less government grant to spend on supporting our residents.
“As a result, we have had to consider new ways of working to be able to continue to provide the services we know our residents value.
“Our communities have really stepped up and this award recognises their contribution.”
Coun Malcolm went on to speak about how some the borough’s assets have been saved due to the council’s ‘collaborative approach’ in working alongside the community.
He added: “It is our strong community spirit and incredible army of volunteers in the third sector that make South Tyneside stand out.
“We couldn’t do any of this without their continued support and for that I am thankful.”
South Tyneside Council received its award on Friday, June 21 at a dinner held at the Co?op Congress in Manchester.
A record 33,000 votes were cast for the awards, which saw numerous organisations and individuals shortlisted across six categories.
South Tyneside Council runs a number of initiatives and supports its residents to take positive action and pride in the borough, including through its #LoveSouthTyneside campaign.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, added: “South Tyneside Council – and all our winners and nominees – are an outstanding example of how working co-operatively creates opportunity, prosperity and meaningful work, and brings social and economic benefits to communities and businesses throughout the country.”