A group of Albanian mayors and officials visited Blaby district on Tuesday July 10 as part of a fact finding mission to see how local government works in the UK.
The team of politicians were met by Blaby District Council’s chairman, Councillor Jill Blackwell, at the authority’s main offices in Narborough, and given a presentation on the role, structure and financing of local government.
They then visited A Place to Grow, the award winning community garden in Enderby, Braunstone Town Council, which is the largest lower-tier authority in Blaby district, and Casepak’s new state-of-the-art £21 million recycling facility in Braunstone Frith, where 61 tonnes of recycling from households across Blaby district is processed each week.
The trip was part of a wider project to develop and improve local government services in Albania and has been funded in part by the Swedish government.
Councillor David Clements, health improvement and corporate services portfolio holder, also took part in the tour, he said:
“We have some excellent examples of local government working with the private and voluntary sector to deliver services in Blaby district and if we can help others to achieve similar success that would be fantastic.
“I hope the group from Albania is able to take home ideas that will improve the lives of people living in their towns and cities, and at the same time maybe we can learn a bit about their culture.”
Albania was a communist state and practically closed off to the outside world until its transition to democracy which began after 1990.
While there has been recent signs of economic progress the country remains one of the least developed in Europe, in terms of public infrastructure. A formal application for membership of the European Union was made in 2009.
Along with Blaby district, the group visited Wyre Forest District Council, Warwick District Council, the London Borough of Sutton and the Houses of Parliament.