Local Council Award Scheme

Wem Rural Parish Council achieves Quality Gold Award.

The Local Council Award Scheme exists to celebrate the successes of the very best local councils, and to provide a framework to support all local councils to meet their full potential. All local councils want to serve their local communities and make a real difference to the lives of the people that live there. This scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed by their peers, and to put in place the conditions for continued improvement.

The Local Council Award Scheme has been designed to both provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their improvement journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting edge of the sector. It is only through the sector working together to share best practice, drive up standards and supporting those who are committed to improving their offer to their communities that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.

The scheme was created in 2014 and is managed on behalf of local councils by the Improvement and Development Board (IDB).

Councils can apply for an award at one of three levels.

  • The Foundation Award demonstrates that a council meets requirements for operating lawfully and according to standard practice.
  • The Quality Award demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement.
  • The Quality Gold Award demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development.

The scheme sets out criteria to meet at each level covering selected aspects of the council’s work.  Councils can seek to progress through the tiers over time thereby raising standards.  Councils of any size can aspire to an award appropriate for their budget and level of activity.

On 29 July the Shropshire Accreditation Panel met to consider the Council’s application for the highest of Awards, Quality Gold.  The Panel confirmed the result of the application as follows:

The Accreditation Panel would like to thank you, Liz Vernon as Chair, and Carole Warner, your Clerk for attending the meeting and for your excellent presentation and help in answering questions raised.

The Panel commend you on the presentation from which they were able to gain a good level of knowledge and understanding of the Council. It is clear that the Council is outstandingly proactive, highly committed and motivated to achieving improvements for the community at the highest professional standards.

The Panel suggest that in the best interests of their communities, the good work continues with partners for example with the Town Council whose services local people use and rely upon and also with the Wem Economic Forum. Work to complete the Emergency Plan was outstanding and a shining example to others and again the Council is commended for taking a lead in this. The Council should be extremely proud of themselves and particularly so of their Clerk.

I am therefore delighted to confirm on behalf of the Panel their recommendation, that the Council receive the Quality Gold Award.

Dianne Dorrell, Panel Co-ordinator

NALC confirmed the recommendation and on 9 October the Chair, Liz Vernon (second left) and the Clerk (first left) received the Award from Shropshire Council’s Chairman, Cllr Ann Hartley at a SALC committee meeting.


The story of how Wem Rural Parish Council achieved Quality Gold is below…..

During October 2017, Wem Rural Parish Council submitted it application to be awarded the Foundation Award.  In its report, the Accreditation Panel stated:

“The Panel applaud you on a number of areas. Information could easily be found on the Council’s website, the Council’s Newsletters are packed with information that is both useful and interesting and the fact that it is sent by post to every household in the community 3 times a year is to be commended. The Panel was also impressed by your high level of involvement in working with the community and other local authorities, in particular Shropshire Council.

The Panel congratulate you on the clarity of your website and the high standard of work that the clerk had undertaken.”

The Award was formally presented to the Parish Council at its meeting on 5 December 2017 by Accreditation Panel member, Parish Councillor Rosemary Abbiss.


Less than a year after achieving Foundation Level, the Parish Council appeared before the Accreditation Panel to submit its application for Quality Award.  The Panel reviewed the submission and commented:

“The Accreditation Panel would like to thank the Chair, Councillor Liz Vernon, Councillor Staines and the Clerk, Ms Carole Warner, for attending the meeting and for your help in answering questions raised. The Panel agreed that the decision was easy to make and the Council had met the criteria required with flying colours.  There was very little that they could see to improve. The Panel were impressed with the evidence of partnership working which was commendable as was the Council’s involvement with the Economic Forum.  They also thought that the monthly action plan was an excellent tool to monitor progress and the police report template was very helpful for all.

The Panel congratulate you on the continued clarity of your website and high standard of work undertaken. I am therefore very pleased to write to you, on behalf of the Panel, to confirm the recommendation of your achievement of the Quality Level Award.”

On 13 August the Council received formal confirmation from NALC it had been awarded the Quality Award.


You can download Guide to the Local Council Award Scheme 2021 here.