Councillor's award for funding efforts

Coun Ready is presented with his award by Coun Paul Bettison, leader of Bracknell Forest Council
Coun Ready is presented with his award by Coun Paul Bettison, leader of Bracknell Forest Council

A borough councillor has been honoured for his commitment to his ward at a national ceremony.

Chris Ready, who represents Aspull, New Springs and Whelley, received the Finance and Transformation gong at the 2017 Councillor Achievement Awards.

He was selected for the top honour for championing "innovative and sustainable financial strategies" within Wigan Council.

In particular, as a Cabinet Member for investment in local communities, Coun Ready was instrumental in driving The Deal for Communities Investment Fund through all of the council services, resulting in £115 million savings, a 50 per cent increase in resident satisfaction and Wigan Council being voted by its own staff as the best large council to work for in the UK.

He has also led on establishing key funding priorities with council services and the community in order to meet the needs of Wigan, championing the need for investment on behalf of the community.

"It was a real shock," he said.

"I was up against a lot of councillors from London boroughs, and it was a ceremony in London. So I think it proves that all we’ve done in Wigan over a number of years, by investing in the communities, has really worked."

Speaking about the ceremony itself, which took place against the backdrop of the Guildhall’s Livery Hall, he commented: "It was really good, and quite surprising when they read out my name. It was really good to get Wigan on the map."

Greater Manchester Mayor and former Leigh MP Andy Burnham even sent a message of congratulations to Chris.

He wrote: "Truly deserved recognition for one of the most decent, effective and hard-working councillors anywhere. Well done."

The awards were organised by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), a think tank designed to strengthen local democracy.