Northumberland town council fends off stiff competition to bring home national award

Paul Pawa from sponsor the Norse Group, CTC Services Committee Chair Mark Swinburn, Cramlington Town Mayor Cllr Helen Morris, CTC Community and Youth Co-ordinator Joe Eltringham, CTC Community and Youth Manager Maggie Martin and presenter Will Mellor.
-Credit: (Image: ©Paparazzi VIP Photography -

A Northumberland town council has won a prestigious award, fending off competition from a number of larger local authorities.

Cramlington Town Council received the Community Involvement award at the Local Government Chronicle Awards. The event sees councils from across the UK have their entries judged by senior local government officials, with the aim of 'promoting new innovation' and 'inspiring other councils' to improve their own services.

Cramlington was the only town council in the awards ceremony, facing off against much larger county, borough and city councils. There was even North East-based competition for the community award, with Durham County Council also in the running.

The town council's entry, entitled Community at Heart, focused on the work the council did alongside residents. Coun Wayne Daley, leader of the town council and Northumberland county councillor for Cramlington North, was delighted with the win.

He said: "The thing I think swung it for us was the fact that we really work as a town council with our community. It is a testimony to our staff and to our town.

"To win the award is testament to what you can do if you do things differently. As town and parish councils we're legally required to do some basic stuff like look after bus stops, but Cramlington goes above and beyond that.

"We're setting the benchmark for others to follow. I really hope Cramlington and what we're doing is a template for how town councils can work with county councils and with communities.

"I feel incredibly proud to call this place home."

Coun Daley said the judges were impressed with the council's work on youth services as well as work to apply for grants with the voluntary sector, which had brought in £175,000 into the town over the past year.

Coun Mark Swinburn, who represents the Cramlington village ward, was among the delegation sent to the awards ceremony.

He said: "We were the only town council at the whole event, not just in our category. The rest were all county and city councils.

"Being the only one there is something I thought stood out. We were blown away to win the award.

"It was such an achievement. The council won Northumbria in Bloom last year and we're in Britain in Bloom this year, so we're a multi-award-winning council.

"It's all about community involvement, that is what the judges noticed. It is where we have brought the community along with us."

Town Mayor Councillor Helen Morris said: “This is a significant achievement. Cramlington was the only Town Council at the award ceremony. We are a relatively small council, but what we lack in numbers we make up for by dedication and commitment to our residents.

"To win this award when we were up such impressive competition is amazing. Small is beautiful – and so is Cramlington!”

LGC editor Sarah Calkin said: “The LGC Awards 2024 shortlist is full of tales of dedicated teams and individuals going above and beyond day after day, week after week, often in extremely challenging circumstances.

"But, the LGC awards is about more than just one night, It is about sharing the secrets of success, and amplifying the innovation and creativity taking place across the sector.”