WIGAN Council has been crowned the best local authority at a prestigious awards ceremony.

It won the Council of the Year accolade at the LGC Awards 2019 last night, Wednesday, an award with recognises excellence in local government.

Judges being impressed by the impact that its community scheme The Deal has had on the borough despite being the third most affected council by Government cuts in the last eight years.

Wigan Council was up against Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cornwall Council, Coventry County Council, Hull City Council and North East Lincolnshire Council.

Wigan Council leader, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “Just to be shortlisted in such a prestigious category at these national awards is a great accolade for the council but to win is phenomenal.

“This is an enormous achievement for us and is acknowledgement of all that has been achieved through The Deal.

“We have taken tough but fair decisions that have helped us to maximise the support we can give to communities through innovative schemes like the Community Investment Fund.

“Despite the heavy cuts in funding we are still able to give residents first class care through programmes like our reablement service, the only one in the country to be ranked outstanding, and our children’s services being ranked good with outstanding elements such as adoption by Ofsted.”

The win comes months after the council's community scheme The Deal was hailed as the future for health services by The Kings Fund.

Alison McKenzie-Folan, chief executive of Wigan Council said: “The recognition Wigan Council gets on a national level is down to the hard work of our brilliant staff.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to reform services and look forward to carrying forward our person-centred approach that has residents’ strengths at the heart.”

The council was assessed by a panel of judges in early 2019 before being crowned winners at the awards ceremony.