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Southwark bags commendation in national awards for excellence in democratic services

Published Thursday, 17 June 2010

Southwark has received an award for its community engagement work highlighting a case study where people involved in the council's community council and scrutiny committee made a real difference.

The inner London borough has been commended in the MJ Local Government Achievement Awards under the category of excellence in democratic services.

As the government talks about engaging residents in decision making, Southwark has been running innovative community councils which have a devolved power to take decisions at local level on issues like planning, the appointment of school governors, traffic management, community safety and environmental improvements.

The awards themselves take place on Thursday 24 June 2010 at the Hilton Hotel on London's Park Lane and are hosted by Michael Portillo.

Southwark Council's entry was focused on its innovative ways to give local residents opportunities to influence what happens in their neighbourhoods, shape services and policies to local needs or strengthen community identity. 

Councillor Abdul Mohamed, Southwark Council cabinet member for communities, said: "Southwark faces some financially challenging times. The council is going to have to work closer than ever with local residents to benefit from local knowledge, community councils will play a critical role in this.

"Community councils encourage meaningful relationships and involvement. I will be working hard with the recently established democracy commission to bring local people closer to the council's decision making process. "  The community council fund is granted to community projects ranging from cultural celebrations to providing equipment for local sports teams. The fund is vital to smaller projects, which mean so much to local people taking part in them.

The Cleaner Greener Safer grant helps residents fund changes they like to see in their area. The projects can be a tree planting, derelict playground replacement or safety measures like lighting or pedestrian crossings.

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