Merton Council’s library service has come top in the UK at the prestigious Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards.
Merton’s cabinet member for community and culture Councillor Martin Whelton along with the council’s head of library services Anthony Hopkins were presented for the award for Efficiency on Wednesday 14 March.
In presenting the award, the LGC recognises the borough’s successful work with volunteers and partner organisations, extending library opening times and broadening the services Merton’s libraries offer. Also praised was the council’s use of new self-service technology to benefit library users.
Along with increased customer satisfaction, the award also recognised the efficiency of the service, including the 40% savings which have been made over the last five years.
Merton Council cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “We are very proud of our library services, and it is great to get the recognition of all our achievements in this area – especially as ours was the only library service in the UK to win an award. We know the value of a good library service to our residents.
“Our army of over 450 volunteers is the biggest of its kind in any London borough, contributing over 17,600 hours of their valuable time since last April to helping provide this fantastic service. This award is largely attributable to the hard work of our library staff who have embraced change and provide excellent customer care.”
LGC editor Emma Maier said of the award winners: “It is testament to the spirit, determination and commitment of local government, and the people who work in it, that despite this enormously challenging time, you have continued to innovate and achieve.”
Notes to editors:
Merton’s library service has also just won a “Building Stronger Neighbourhoods” award at the Team London Awards, City Hall, for recruitment and retention of volunteers. The service has recently been nominated for a Volunteering England award as an example of good practice.
For more information on Merton libraries, please visit: http://www.merton.gov.uk/libraries
For more information on the LGC Awards, please visit: http://www.lgcawards.co.uk