Plaudits for Preston's 'model' authority

Council leader Peter Rankin with the Labour Party award
Council leader Peter Rankin with the Labour Party award
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Preston City Council’s ruling Labour group has been named UK Council of the Year by the national party for its work with Lancashire businesses.

Authority bosses received the award at a London ceremony on Monday evening, it being the latest recognition for the Preston Model approach to economic growth.

Leader Coun Peter Rankin said: “I was so pleased to receive this award. It was a thrill and a fantastic credit for everything we have been doing in Preston.”

The so-called Preston Model – which received praise from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn earlier this year – outlines how six anchor organisations including the town hall, county hall, UCLan and local colleges procure services from local firms where possible, keeping funds within the county’s economy.

The approach is estimated to have handed a £200m boost, worth thousands of jobs.

Coun Rankin said the Small and Medium sized businesses (SME) for Labour award was proof the work was receiving widespread acclaim.

He added: “We are thrilled that our initiative is recognised across not just the UK but across Europe as well.

"We are fortunate that Preston and Lancashire is home to many innovative and growing businesses. Supporting our local business community and creating jobs for Preston and Lancashire people is an important part of our work in Preston.

"Clearly we are ambitious and want Preston to help Lancashire become a crucial part of the Northern Powerhouse.”