The London Borough of Hackney has beaten more than 40 other local government sites to win the Government Award at the New Media Awards 2000. One visitor to the Hackney Live site said, "I like the new Web site - it looks like you have taken control away from the computer people and got somebody who understands information and design involved."
The award was presented by Cabinet Office minister Mo Mowlam. Runners up in the Government category were the London Borough of Camden and Hampshire County Council.
The New Statesman, which sponsored the New Media Awards, says the aim is to "identify and reward innovative initiatives that contribute and benefit public life using new media". The Government Award is intended to raise awareness of excellence in the use of new media by local/central government.
James Cully of the New Statesman explains, "The judges filter entrants firstly by functionality - no bad links or dead-ends, together with an e-mail response system that works. After that, the judging is subjective, looking at the quality of the information presented and the design of the site compared to competitors."
Six other awards were presented at the ceremony, sponsored by KPMG, Telewest Communications, Nortel Networks, Oracle and BBC Parliament.
Labour backbencher Paul Flynn won the Elected Representative Award, with Labour MP Anne Campbell and Andy White of IR35 winning commendations in this category.
The Online Community Award was won by Jooly's Joint, with Parents Online and Black Britain as runners-up.
Tesco Schoolnet 2000 won the Education Award, and Oneworld Kids Channel was commended.
The Prostate Cancer Charity won the Information Award with the Cancer Research Campaign as a runner up.
The Advocacy Award, for sites that change the climate of public opinion, was won by Oneworld.net, a site dedicated to increasing awareness of injustices and unnecessary suffering in the world. The British Council and Jubilee 2000 coalition were commended.
Dave Brewer of community Web site Brookman's Park Newsletter won the Overall Merit Award.
Vivi Lachs, who has been an advisory teacher for information communications technology in Hackney for the past six years, says her book, Making Multimedia in the Classroom, was inspired by students and teachers in Hackney schools.
Do you know of an online service worth shouting about? E-mail your innovative projects to: firstname.lastname@example.org