THE SNP were the big winners at this year’s Cllr Awards, scooping four of the six trophies up for grabs.

The awards, held annually by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) think tank, are billed as the “only national ceremony to celebrate the vital contributions of our councillors ... that so often go unrecognised”.

In a ceremony held on Wednesday evening, Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken took home the Leader of the Year award.

She was joined by her SNP Glasgow colleague Jacqueline McLaren, who won the Community Champion award.

Sharing a photo to Twitter alongside McLaren, Aitken wrote: “Thanks for all the lovely congratulations messages, folks. Always nice to be recognised and I’m very grateful to @LGiU.

“Particularly delighted for my fab colleague @jakimclaren, a brilliant choice as Community Champion of the Year. Congrats to all winners and nominees #CllrAwards”

Aitken had been up against the Labour leader of West Lothian Council, Lawrence Fitzpatrick, and the independent leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan.

Other SNP winners at the night were East Ayrshire Council’s Claire Leitch, who took home the Champion for Education award, and Dundee City Council’s Willie Sawers, who was given the Lifetime Contribution award.

The other two prizes up for grabs both went to Scottish Tory councillors. Jackie McCamon from the Dumfries and Galloway Council won the New Councillor of the Year award, while Euan Jardine from the Scottish Borders Council took home the new Resilience and Recovery trophy.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGIU Scotland, said: “We are incredibly proud to unveil the winners of this year’s Cllr Awards. These councillors showcase the best of local government across Scotland.

“During a time when our communities have experienced unprecedented challenges and pressures, these councillors are paving the way towards recovery.

“I would like to extend a huge congratulations to Cllr Aitken and all of tonight’s Cllr Awards winners. We thank you for your service and look forward to hearing about your continued accomplishments in the future.”

The ceremony for English councillors will be held in London on December 1.