WIGAN Council has been named as the best in the country.

The authority was crowned ‘Council of the Year’ in the LGC Awards 2019.

Wigan was up against authorities from Cheshire West & Chester, Cornwall, Coventry, Hull and North East Lincolnshire.

The council was assessed by a panel of judges in early 2019 before being crowned winners at the awards ceremony last night.

Judges were impressed by the impact of the authority's The Deal scheme which has helped the borough run services despite being the third worst affected by cuts in funding from central government over the last eight years.

Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “Just to be shortlisted in such a prestigious category at these national awards is a great accolade for the council but to win is phenomenal.

“This is an enormous achievement for us and is acknowledgement of all that has been achieved through The Deal.

“We have taken tough but fair decisions that have helped us to maximise the support we can give to communities through innovative schemes like the Community Investment Fund.

“Despite the heavy cuts in funding we are still able to give residents first class care through programmes like our reablement service, the only one in the country to be ranked outstanding, and our children’s services being ranked good with outstanding elements such as adoption by Ofsted.”

Alison McKenzie-Folan, chief executive of Wigan Council said: “The recognition Wigan Council gets on a national level is down to the hard work of our brilliant staff.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to reform services and look forward to carrying forward our person-centred approach that has residents’ strengths at the heart.”