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Sevenoaks named ‘council of the year’ for financial strategy that will see it open own hotel and a portfolio including petrol stations and offices

PUBLISHED: 09:45 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:45 10 March 2017

Sevenoaks council chiefs lift the title at LGC Awards 2017, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald

Sevenoaks council chiefs lift the title at LGC Awards 2017, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald

Tom Howard

Council’s proactive drive towards self-sufficiency wins it major title at the Local Government Chronicle Awards

Sevenoaks District Council is celebrating after being named council of the year at a prestigious awards for local authorities.

It beat off tough competition to win the crown at the 2017 Local Government Chronicle Awards (LGC).

At a ceremony, hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald, in London, the council was celebrated for achieving financial self-sufficiency, changing cultures and “doing things differently”.

The council has so far purchased a petrol station, office space, convenience store and a former Working Men’s Club and car park, and is currently developing its own hotel.

This new source of income comes at a time when the council will no longer receive any direct government funding.

This victory is the latest in a number of recent successes for the council after scooping the top spots in the finance and the overall winner categories at the Guardian Public Service Awards in November, as well as two other awards last year.

Council leader Peter Fleming, said: “To win such a prestigious award is a very proud moment for the whole Sevenoaks District Council team, both councillors and officers. It is also an enormous honour as it represents the hard work and difficult decisions we have been making for many years.

“Being one of only two district councils on the shortlist and up against some excellent London boroughs, county and city councils from across the country, to come out the winner shows our strength and success as a council.”

Andrew Jepp, managing director of Zurich Municipal, who was on the judge’s panel for the awards, said: “Sevenoaks District Council are a radical, hugely impressive organisational development. They showed entrepreneurship with civic purpose and their strong contra transformation around customers felt real to the judges, and they have a focused long term vision.”

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