The service was recently recognised as the Best Public/Public partnership working (Protecting Vulnerable Residents) in its category in the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) performance networks awards.

The ‘Call Blockers’ project also received a ‘commended’ in the Municipal Journal awards for ‘Excellence in Community Engagement’.

The initiative, in partnership with East Dunbartonshire and Angus councils utilises call blocking equipment to protect vulnerable residents from nuisance and scam calls and was a first in the UK.

The results in terms of calls blocked and user feedback shows that appropriate equipment could stop up to 100 per cent of nuisance and scam calls.

This increases the vulnerable user’s ability to live independently. The project is expanding across the UK and more than 100 agencies and councils are fitting call blocking equipment to support vulnerable residents.

Debbie Johns, head of performance networks APSE presented the award on behalf of IQ Software Systems (IQSS) at a charity dinner at the National Ice Arena in Nottingham.

East Renfrewshire Council’s senior trading standards officer Paul Holland added: “It has been a pleasure working on this project and witnessing the benefits for our most vulnerable residents.

“I appreciate the project and related prevention work wouldn’t have developed without funding and support from a collaboration of partners.” Environment convener Councillor Vincent Waters said: “It is important that we protect the vulnerable consumers in our community from the greedy clutches of these predatory people.

“East Renfrewshire and its partners in this project should be proud to be the first joint trading standards team in the UK to use call blocking technology to halt these despicable people from their attempts to rip off our residents and especially the elderly.”