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National Recognition for Cheshire West's Libraries

Published: 28th November 2018 13:43

Libraries in Cheshire West and Chester were officially recognised as outstanding at a national awards ceremony this week, receiving not one but two accolades.

Neston LibraryNeston Library. Photo by Bernard Rose

The Guardian Public Service Awards were announced at a ceremony in London and Cheshire West's Libraries were winners in the Transformation category and also the Overall Winner - deemed by the judges to be the strongest of this year's entries.

The awards, now in their fifteenth year, look for the very best teams and projects from central and local government, housing, health, social care and the voluntary sector.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Well-being, Councillor Louise Gittins said: "This is a fantastic achievement and it is all down to the wonderful staff, visitors, partners, community organisations and volunteers who make our libraries what they are today. It's great news for our residents who use our libraries to learn, connect and share.

"The Council's Library service has been through significant transformation: with the opening of Storyhouse in Chester, investment in modern technology - and a change in culture which empowers our staff to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse communities.

"I'm really proud of the role Neston Library has played in gaining these two awards."

The Guardian's public services editor, David Brindle said: "We hear so much about councils struggling to maintain services, but Cheshire West and Chester has rejected retrenchment and gone on the front foot with a stunning investment that has not only breathed new life into its libraries, but triggered a much wider cultural and community reawakening.

"The end result shows brilliantly that councils can still find and skilfully deploy funds to arrest the depressing decline in their services, even though day-to-day revenue cash continues to be so squeezed."

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