Councillors in South Tyneside have earned a place among an elite band to be recognised nationally for their forward thinking approach to local government.
South Tyneside is only the second local authority in the country to have the coveted Investors In People (IIP) Award for personal training and development for its elected members (the other is Kingston Upon Hull).
The introduction of this training is recognised as an example of good practice and is being upheld as a model across the UK by the Learning and Skills Council. It is also a nationally recognised indicator as part of Best Value Reviews.
Council Leader Paul Waggott said he was immensely proud to accept the award on behalf of all 60 councillors who had worked at training and seminars, often during evenings and at weekends.
Councillor Waggott said: "The Members have spent a lot of time and the staff have worked very hard to help them achieve this honour. The Council as a whole is committed to achieving IIP Standard by March next year and I am delighted that Councillors are leading by example and are the first function in the Council, after the pilot with Personnel Services, to achieve the award."
Ashley Winter, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, Tyne and Wear added: "Over the past decade, Investors in People has made a tremendous difference to working life in the UK.
Organisations and businesses that achieve recognition use Investors in People as a framework to achieve their corporate goals. Individuals working for organisations that gain recognition get pleasure, self-esteem and self-confidence from that achievement. The Award confirms the importance of the individual in the workplace and it is a visible sign that an organisation is committed to learning at all levels."