Edinburgh’s parks and greenspaces win gold COSLA award

The gold COSLA Award commends the excellent practice adopted by the Council’s parks and greenspace service.

Edinburgh’s parks and greenspaces have been recognised with a gold award at last night’s COSLA Excellence Awards.

The ceremony in St Andrews saw Edinburgh’s Parks and Greenspace service chosen from a shortlist of three other local authorities.

The gold COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) Award commends the excellent practice adopted by the Council’s parks and greenspace service. The COSLA Excellence Awards celebrate and reward the most innovative and passionate developments in local government. They recognise projects that can demonstrate excellent service delivery to communities.

The service already has a strong track-record with improvement recognised through a variety of awards and accolades including the 2010 Beautiful Scotland “City” Award and Silver Gilt Medal at the 2011 Britain in Bloom UK Finals, a record twenty Green Flag Awards in 2011.

Councillor Jenny Dawe, Council Leader, said: “Our parks and greenspaces are consistently improving year on year and to achieve this award in these difficult financial times is testament to the efforts of everyone involved.

“I am delighted that our innovative approach to delivering clean, green and safe parks for everyone has been recognised at a national level.”

Mark Turley, Director of Services for Communities, said: “The Parks and Greenspace staff who have developed this ground breaking service fully deserve last night’s accolade.

“Since 2008 we have worked hard to transform the service and through working with local communities every step of the way, this city now has an enviable reputation for having one of best performing parks and greenspaces service in the UK.”

In 2008 the Council set a target to improve the quality of every single park in the city. At that time only 55% of parks were judged to meet the acceptable standard of quality. By 2011 this had risen to 82%.

The city is also to become one of the UK’s first “Green Flag Authorities” in recognition of its innovation and leading role in greenspace management excellence.

COSLA President, Councillor Pat Watters CBE, said: “The COSLA Excellence Awards showcase and celebrate the very best of Scottish Local Government. The sheer impact being achieved by these projects is proof that Scotland’s local services are in great shape.

“Every one of our finalists have set new standards for excellence, and demonstrated innovative ways of dealing with some of Scotland’s most complex issues. Their results speak for themselves, but above all else, I have been struck by the utter determination and passion that council workers and our partners have for improving outcomes for their communities.”