Three awards were given to the local municipality of Derry (Derry City & Strabane District Council), a Follower city of the EU-funded STARDUST project, at the 2018 Local Government Awards. The event took place on October 11 in Armagh (Northern Ireland). This was led by the Northern Ireland Government Association (NILGA) and the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE). A total number of 28 entries were submitted this year for the nine different awards bestowed at the ceremony.
One of the awards the district council received was for its Excellence in Environmental Sustainability by a Local Authority. The application for the award incorporates various aspects on sustainability – in particular, those of energy and urban mobility.
Firstly, the council focused a lot of their attention on promoting behavioural change among its citizens by organising various community engagement programmes and events. Also, a regional energy strategy is being developed. This is based on the best practices and lessons learnt by its projects officers based on their involvement with selected energy efficiency projects and their experiences on renewable energy uptake. Moreover, alternative solutions to mobility will be introduced to the public as it plans to launch a public Bike Share scheme later this year. Last but not the last, the Derry City & Strabane District Council makes it a point to reduce carbon emissions as it is currently working on its Climate Adaptation Plan and Preparedness Scale.
The other two prizes received by the municipality of Derry were the Employee of the Year and the Best Local Authority Elected Member Development Initiative.
These activities are just part of the council’s grander scheme of things in order to make Derry a greener, smarter and more sustainable city. No doubt, the awards received by its members reflect the hard work provided by the local authorities or the “frontline services” as mentioned by APSE Chief Executive, Paul O’Brien. After all, just like a recipe, different ingredients need to be considered in nurturing a smart city. The city of Derry has invested on its staff on setting up the first cobblestones that will push its citizens and community towards a brighter future.