By Monica Gibson

A PIONEERNG project which slashed teenage pregnancy in Auchenback by more than half is in line for a prestigious award.

East Renfrewshire Council’s initiative saw specialists work with with parents and local high schools to reduce rates in Auchenback, driving numbers down by 60 per cent.

And the effects didn’t stop there, with the number of first-time mums under the age of 19 in the wider Barrhead area pushed under 10 per cent from 22.

The project’s success has been recognised with a nomination for the annual Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) Excellence Awards, where it is in the running for a gold award in the “delivering better outcomes” category.

The project has already secured a silver award.

Councillor Colm Merrick, convener for community services and community safety, said: “I’m delighted that the fantastic teenage pregnancy project is now going for gold.”

ERC’s £3m redevelopment of Rouken Glen Park – which led to it being named the UK’s Best Park last year – has also been recognised with a Bronze Award in the “Strong and Sustainable Communities” category.

Included in the project was the modernisation of the pavilion visitor centre, construction of a new children’s play area, extension of the glen walks and extensive enhancements to the eco system of Rouken Glen’s boating pond.

Cllr Merrick added: “Services across Scotland compete for these awards each year and competition can be tough.

“Being shortlisted for two awards is a fantastic achievement and well-deserved recognition of the great work of our Young Persons Services and Parks and Cemeteries teams.

“I’m delighted that the fantastic teenage pregnancy project is now going for gold.”

The CoSLA Excellence Awards aims to highlight the local authorities setting new standards for excellence and help spread their good practice.