Michael Fabricant has congratulated Lichfield City Council on their ‘Quality Status’ award by the Government. He says: "Lichfield once again shows that it is leading the way. The District Council has won national acclaim for its recycling of waste policy and for the unique ‘green’ design of the Lichfield Garrick Theatre, and now the City Council has just won the prestigious ‘Quality Status’ Award. My congratulations go to all the members of the City Council and the officers who prepared the bid."
Councillor Tony Thompson, Leader of Lichfield City Council said, "Achieving Quality Status was important to us as a clear demonstration of our commitment to provide high-quality services to our local residents. That’s why we were the first council in Staffordshire to apply, and I’m delighted that we are in the first batch of four parishes in the county to be receive the award."
There are some 8,000 town and parish councils nationally, of which just 104 have achieved Quality Status so far. The Quality Scheme for town and parish councils was introduced last year as part of the Government’s aim to improve standards at the most ‘local’ level of local government. It tests councils against various criteria, including the qualifications of the clerk, Council procedures and ethical framework, communicating with the public, newsletters and accounts. Town Clerk, Peter Young, said, "This award is obviously a great tribute to our councillors and staff, but we must now seek to maintain these high standards throughout our work in the city." The award lasts for four years initially, and the council must then reapply.
The scheme also has practical benefits, as the Government has just set up a fund of £300,000 in grant funding, to which only ‘quality’ councils can apply. The money has to be allocated before 31st March 2005, and one of the first things the council will do is to put in a grant application.
The award is to be presented to the Council in Stafford on Thursday 25 November, and will be received by Councillor Mrs Norma Bacon, as chairman of the Council’s working party on "Quality Status" which prepared the application.