THE former East Ayrshire Council Chief Executive has won an award for her hard work and dedication – not only in her own local authority area but also for what she has done to help others across the UK.

Fiona Lees, who retired from her role as the council’s head honcho at the end of last year, has been given the Chairman’s Award 2021 by IESE, a public service improvement and transformation social enterprise, run by councils for councils.

In announcing Fiona as recipient of the award in their magazine publication, IESE said: “Fiona has led the transformation in East Ayrshire within the council and its community leaving a legacy of innovation in community-led public service.

“We are delighted that Fiona, whilst retired from East Ayrshire, will continue to support the sector by supporting IESE’s research.

“Today, we would like to recognise Fiona’s achievements with the announcement of the Chairman’s Award and hope she will be able to join us in the awards ceremony this September.”

The awards recognise council’s work in particular areas of public service provision and singles them out for praise. East Ayrshire Council is a previous winner of UK Council of the Year.

The council has been nominated for a number of other awards this year.

They include in the Working Together category, for its Dignified Food Programme, a project to improve collaboration and communication between the council and other organisations to reduce food poverty. They were also nominated in the Transformation in Health and Social Care category for it’s Health and Social Care Partnership work towards a housing model of care.

In the Green Council category it has been nominated for its Waste Management with the residents recycling permit and appointment booking system introduced in March 2020 being suggested as having helped reduce ‘waste tourism’ and unauthorised commercial use of the recycling centres.

And finally, in the Community Focus category for Vibrant Communities.

East Ayrshire joins two other council areas in each of these categories as finalists.

The winners will be confirmed in September later on this year at the award ceremony.