On 17 November Kirklees Council was awarded the ‘Keep it Local’ Award at the national Locality Awards 2021. The award, which the council have dedicated to inspiring community organisations in local places across Kirklees, is in recognition of how the council and partner organisations are working alongside each other to unlock the power of community,

The annual Locality Awards recognise and celebrate the incredible impact and innovation shown by local community organisations and councils across the country. The awards were given as part of Locality Convention ’21 – the biggest community sector event of the year.

Keep it Local is Locality’s campaign – in partnership with Lloyds Bank Foundation – calling for councils to move away from bureaucratic commissioning and big outsourcing contracts. This award celebrates an outstanding council which has instead created strong local partnerships with local community organisations and has worked in an innovative way to unlock the power of local communities.

Kirklees Council won the Keep it local award because of strong evidence of activities where they are working with and alongside community partners. The award also recognises innovative work at neighbourhood scale to bring citizens into strategic decision making on key issues.

Just one of the examples celebrated are Place Partnerships, led by councillors who work with local people and organisations to find local solutions, based on what the participants have learned or experienced. These partnerships have already invested £1m in local projects to improve people’s mental wellbeing and £400k in helping to tackle domestic abuse.

Cllr Cathy Scott, Deputy Leader of Kirklees Council and Cabinet member for Housing and Democracy said:

“For us, this award is recognition for all our amazing community partners in local places across Kirklees. We’re committed to building on the strengths and capacity of local communities and working alongside each other to create local solutions to issues which affect us all. It’s about putting our relationships first – all of us working as citizens who are connected in our local place. Kirklees Council are continuing to invest in projects and activities that are led by local citizens and organisations, so that whoever is best placed to do something is supported in that. We are incredibly proud to work alongside so many inspiring community partners in Kirklees.”

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality said:

“Huge congratulations to Kirklees Council for winning the Keep it Local Award. At Locality, we passionately believe in the power of community to create a fairer, more equitable, more sustainable world. Kirklees Council are the embodiment of our vision. It is wonderful to see a council who put so much energy and thought into their community engagement – and who are so dedicated to including local people in decision making.”

Kirklees Council was joined by five other award winners, each making an incredible difference to the lives of people in their communities across England. Each Locality Award winner has also been awarded £1,000 to invest in their community.