Just over a week ago the Groundwork Merseyside Environmental Awards took place at the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool. Uniquely in the region, they reward all sectors - community groups, schools, businesses and the public sector for achievements in forwarding sustainable development.
It's easy to be cynical about awards, and the accompanying boozy awards dinners and wonder what they actually achieve. But it's impossible to be cynical about the community element and it's always inspiring to see what real people are actually achieving out in their local neighbourhoods. This year's awards were hosted by the brilliant Splinter Theatre Group who expertly held the attention of a room full of children.
The evening saw a whole host of organisations rewarded - but what really stood out was the sense of competition between the various local authorities. Eventually Knowsley won the overall Merseyside 21 award (awarded to the area with most awards) after the leaderboard had swung back and forth between the boroughs all night. We really need to capitalise on the competitive element that exists between areas in the northwest to encourage further action for the environment. Which borough is truly the greenest in the Northwest?
Ian MacArthur presents the overall award to representatives from Knowsley.