Cllr Richard Kemp, Liberal Democrat leader in Local Government, has congratulated Liberal Democrat led Northumberland Council on picking up four key awards last night.

The awards ceremony, jointly designed by the LGA and held at 11 Downing Street, recognised the country’s most innovative councils who work with other parts of the public sector. Each winner will share in a £3 million pot to spread their pioneering ideas and best practice around the country.

Northumberland won in the following categories:

Keeping children and young people safe in the community – for engaging with children and young people, understanding the risks they face and working with them to protect the most vulnerable. Northumberland gets £560,000 to spread ideas and good practice.

Achieving more through partnerships – working with the Fire Service and Sure Start to set up a Community Fire Station and Children’s Centre – delivering real community benefits at a reduced cost. Again, Northumberland will get £560,000 to spread good practice.

Northumberland Council also won two awards for bright ideas:

Strengthening Families – a community family skills programme for mothers, fathers, carers and young people. It was piloted in a local prison, bringing families together before the prisoner’s release. It strengthens the family unit and reduces the risk of re-offending.

Taking control of care – empowering adults to control their own care – for establishing a virtual carer’s centre in a rural and sparsely populated area; and to bring local projects together.

Cllr Kemp said: “Northumberland has shown that Lib Dems, where they are in power, deliver innovation while improving services and reducing costs.”

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