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Mayo County Council on a winning streak at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2020

Date: 27-11-2020

Mayo County Council is delighted to announce it is the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards Local Authority of the Year. Not only this, but the organisation has also won in a record number of three categories.

Making Positive Choices in the Health & Wellbeing category, Weather Impact Register App – WIRE won the Local Authority Innovation category and Virtual Mayo Day 2020 won Festival of the Year.

There was a record number of five entries shortlisted for Mayo County Council this year, including two other entries that were shortlisted, but didn’t win on the night: A Sustainable Agricultural Strategy for Mayo in Sustainable Environment and Through the Ages in Age Friendly Initiative.

Speaking of today’s record win Cllr. Richard Finn, Cathaoirleach for Mayo County Council says “Projects such as Making Positive Changes and Weather Impact Register are great examples of the innovative work that can be done when groups of people come together with their pride in their county at the heart of their work. The exemplary work that the team behind this year’s virtual Mayo Day projects have done is a leading example of Mayo’s ability on a national stage. It is a wonderful way to mark the near conclusion of 2020.

Interim Chief Executive, Peter Duggan, also congratulated the winners “On behalf of the Management and staff at Mayo County Council, I would like to congratulate all involved in this record award win for the Local Authority, those who were shortlisted in their categories, and to all staff whose work has resulted in the overall accolade of Local Authority of the Year.

 2020 has been an extraordinary year, which has been challenging for everyone including our Staff.  These awards are testament to all who have put in hard work, showed great commitment and resilience throughout what has been unprecedented times..  We strive to make Mayo a county, which values health and wellbeing .  We also work hard in Mayo County Council to understand and respect our powerful coastline and its weather systems.  It is therefore  significant  to have won an award for the pioneering weather impact and climate change work that is ongoing in this  Council.

Martina Hughes, Head of the Communications at Mayo County Council outlined : “We are exceptionally proud of the recognition that winning Local Authority of the Year award brings for Mayo County Council on a national stage. The awards are all about excellence in local government, which is what we strive to achieve as a local authority. The Road Safety Office within the Communications department worked diligently with An Garda Siochana and other stakeholders on Clare Island to create a project that impacted so positively with the young islanders. Year on year, the Communications Department of Mayo County Council strives to develop Mayo Day in new and novel ways that will capture people’s imagination. This year’s event and the short-film produced to celebrate the day went beyond our expectations, and we are thrilled to have had it recognised on a national stage.

An overview of the award winners

Making Positive Choices is a collaborative project which addresses road safety issues on the Mayo Islands. Its focus was on emphasising to young people the importance of making positive choices and providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge to prevent collisions and road traffic incidents in future.

Weather Impact Register App, is a simple tool for local authorities (and other state agencies) to record and collate the actual impacts and some of the associated costs of climate change in their areas. The GIS based dataset together with the dashboard and filters developed alongside the App will provide a spatial distribution of risks and vulnerability and help identify the increasing severity and frequency of events that will inform climate adaptation planning.

Virtual Mayo Day 2020

In this extraordinary year of 2020, the people of Mayo got together again (virtually) with pride and with hope for Mayo Day, 2nd May. The virtual Mayo Day Live Show was a mix of chat, interviews, music, and messages of hope and solidarity for a special Mayo Day from well-known people from Mayo and those who love our county. The show concluded with the launch of a poignant and beautiful short film for Mayo Day called #OceansApart by Lorcan Hynes, a haunting film depicting how emigration and Covid-19 restrictions have impacted on Mayo families and friendships.

And shortlisted nominees in two other categories:

A Sustainable Agricultural Strategy for Mayo 

Mayo is a rural county where agriculture plays a vital role in underpinning the rural economy. Mayo County Council has engaged with stakeholders to develop a sustainable agriculture strategy that will drive economic development, support employment and create sustainable jobs in the county. The purpose of this strategy is to set out a series of actions that will help Mayo capitalise on opportunities and overcome barriers to developing this critical component of the local economy.

Through the Ages is a unique collaboration set up during Covid-19 Lockdown 2020. Participants, aged 6 to 16, were asked to interview their grandparents about their memories of childhood and to record these stories in essay format for publication in a souvenir magazine, as well as for preservation in the Local History section of Mayo County Library. Interviews took place remotely due to the Covid restrictions and all participants were encouraged to handwrite their essays, thus creating a very authentic record for preservation in Mayo County Library.

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