GREENWICH Council has been named Council of the Year at the Local Government Chronicle Awards.

Leader Councillor Chris Roberts and chief executive Mary Ney picked up the award from host Alexander Armstrong at a ceremony held last night in the Grovesnor House Hotel, London.

An open entry competition, with finalists having to pitch their organisations to a panel of judges on the day, the event saw Greenwich beat off competition from Derby, Essex, Newham, Surrey and Wakefield.

The council was praised by judges for its investment, including a £9m spend on schools, communities and sport, along with work to help people back into employment.

Following on from the Olympics and Royal Borough status, Greenwich had also boasted of improving educational standards and a fall in the borough's crime rate.

Cllr Roberts said: "We have been solely driven by the desire to raise prospects and the quality of life for our residents, to create opportunities and to continue to push forward the fortunes of the Royal Borough of Greenwich to make it an even better place to live, work, visit and enjoy.

"I am especially pleased that our careful planning has been recognised by the judges – none of this could have happened by itself and I thank everyone across the organisation, and the partner organisations with whom we work so closely.

"Most of all, I thank the people of Greenwich, who embraced everything that 2012 gave us here."

Acting Chronicle editor Nick Golding said: "Our judges felt Greenwich’s approach combined a long-term sustainable strategy with successful delivery across a wide range of areas. They were particularly impressed with the council’s focus on growth and investment and its work with those hit by the benefit cap.

"Greenwich’s performance shows that through innovation, inspiration and hard work councils can improve services and bring investment to their local area despite the difficult fiscal environment."

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