Council is finalist in prestigious MJ Awards for climate change and Library Transformation programmes

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Cornwall Council will find out next week if it has won national awards recognising its pioneering work in both tackling climate change and transforming its libraries.  

The unitary authority is a finalist in the prestigious MJ Local Government Achievement Awardswhich highlights local authorities’ delivery of services over the last 12 months and allows them to share expertise with peers across the nation.  

Cornwall Council has been shortlisted in two categories - Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency and Delivering Better Outcomes.  

In the climate emergency category, judges say the unitary authority is clear in its role in tackling climate change and the work it has done to date to engage with communities. 

They praise the Council’s excellent use of data to provide a compelling narrative and its significant actions in work on environmental mitigation, adaptation and nature-based solutions. 

In the Delivering Better Outcomes category judges praise the Council’s Library Transformation Programme as strong with clear outcomes. 

They describe how the programme retained important services for Cornwall while saving costs and concluded it delivered sustained and improved outcomes for residents.   

The MJ Awards have been held every year since 2004 recognising officers, managers, teams and councils, and is one of the major events in the public sector calendar.  

This year’s winners will be announced on Friday, September 17, at a ceremony in the London Hilton Hotel.  

Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “This is the second year we have been shortlisted for an MJ Award in the climate change category and it’s a shining example of how we are gaining national recognition amongst local authorities across the country for our leading work in tackling the climate emergency, working towards net zero emissions, protecting and adapting our environment to benefit our residents.”  

Cornwall Council was one of the country’s first local authorities to produce a detailed and ambitious plan to tackle the climate emergency while developing a blueprint for regional leadership.   

The plan to help Cornwall strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 which includes the Forest for Cornwall, a homes retrofit programme and electric vehicle infrastructure has attracted the attention of scientists and the government and is a key reason the region was chosen to host G7. 

Cllr Alvey added: “Our community engagement on climate change has once again been praised which is key as we cannot fight global warming alone. We know there is much more to be done as we strive to meet our ambitious target of Cornwall becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Our success is dependent on strong partnerships. I thank everyone who has joined us in taking climate action so far and look forward to working more closely with our residents and businesses to accelerate our response further.”  

Carol Mould, Cornwall’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “I want to congratulate our Library and Information Service for achieving this accolade which reflects our innovative work in devolving, protecting and revitalising our libraries by working closely with communities across Cornwall to deliver better library services for residents.” 

The Council’s Library Transformation Programme, which has been unique in the country, has seen libraries being devolved to town and parish councils or community groups to create sustainable services aligned to local needs, a better use of public assets and the creation of community and cultural hubs. Devolved libraries across Cornwall are showing improvements in service with longer opening hours, increased borrowing and more groups using the library as a community hub. 

See here for more information about the MJ Awards.


Story posted on September 9, 2021


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