THE chair of Cowdenbeath Area Committee has won a major national award.

Councillor Linda Erskine, member of Fife Council for Lochgelly, Benarty and Cardenden, has won the Urban Community Champion award at the LGiU and CCLA Councillor Achievement Awards ceremony.

The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a think tank which works to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. It works with local councils and other public services providers, along with a wider network of public, private and third sector organisations. CCLA is a leading specialist fund manager for local authorities and charities. Its products and services are designed in partnership with the sector to meet Councils’ different needs, ranging from flexible cash management to longer term investments targeting higher income. CCLA is owned by its clients – its mission is to serve the whole sector, regardless of size.

The inaugural awards ceremony was held on Thursday at Edinburgh’s City Chambers.

Cllr Erskine was commended for providing technical knowledge to groups submitting business plans and applications for grants.

Through her work as chair of the Area Committee, Linda works with community groups consisting of people of all ages and contributed to the success of the highly successful “Park Fife” event, which celebrates young people. Judges were also impressed by her role introducing free sanitary products in schools, which she pioneered through the Cowdenbeath Area Committee.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, said: “It’s fantastic to hear stories of local councillors working selflessly for the community, bringing real benefits to residents.

"Cllr Linda Erskine has demonstrated huge talent and dedication.

"The outstanding quality of the nominations we received this year stands as a testament to the exceptional job many councillors are doing for their community. The inaugural Scottish Councillor awards have been a huge success.”

The Councillor Achievement Awards are the only national ceremony to recognise and reward the efforts of councillors from across the political spectrum.

There was a keynote address from Kevin Stewart MSP. A total of eight awards were up for grabs this year.