City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh's Parks Win Gold COSLA Award

By edg - Posted on 17 February 2012

Princes Street Gardens West

The quality of Edinburgh’s parks and greenspaces has been recognised with a gold award at last night’s COSLA Excellence Awards.

The ceremony in St Andrews saw the City of Edinburgh Council’s Parks and Greenspace service chosen from a shortlist of three other local authorities.

The gold COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) Award recognised the Council's new approach to working with Friends groups and local residents in looking after Edinburgh's extensive parks and greenspaces.

Among awards and accolades Edinburgh Parks has earned are the 2010 Beautiful Scotland “City” Award and Silver Gilt Medal at the 2011 Britain in Bloom UK Finals and a record twenty Green Flag Awards in 2011. Edinburgh has also been recognised by APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) as having the UK's Best Parks, Grounds & Horticultural Service Team in 2011.

Councillor Jenny Dawe, Council Leader, said: “Our parks and greenspaces are consistently improving year on year and to achieve this award in these difficult financial times is testament to the efforts of everyone involved.

“I am delighted that our innovative approach to delivering clean, green and safe parks for everyone has been recognised at a national level.”

Mark Turley, Director of Services for Communities said Edinburgh's Parks and Greenspace staff "fully deserve" the COSLA accolade.

He added: “Since 2008 we have worked hard to transform the service and through working with local communities every step of the way, this city now has an enviable reputation for having one of best performing parks and greenspaces service in the UK.”

In 2008 the Council set a target to improve the quality of every single park in the city. At that time only 55% of parks were judged to meet the acceptable standard of quality. By 2011 this had risen to 82%.

The city is also to become one of the UK’s first “Green Flag Authorities” in recognition of its innovation and leading role in greenspace management excellence.

COSLA President, Councillor Pat Watters CBE, said the COSLA Excellence Awards showcase and celebrate "the very best of Scottish Local Government".

“Every one of our finalists have set new standards for excellence, and demonstrated innovative ways of dealing with some of Scotland’s most complex issues. Their results speak for themselves, but above all else, I have been struck by the utter determination and passion that council workers and our partners have for improving outcomes for their communities.”