FINGAL County Council has congratulated all those who participated in the Cleaner Communities Awards this year and said the competition is an important one in fostering good relations between the local authority and local communities it serves.The council said: 'This important competition has over the years enhanced the local authorities' relationship with residents and businesses of the county. 'It is primarily a litter-awareness competition to enhance the appearance of residential and business areas around the county similar to, but separate from national Tidy Towns competition, and is open to residents, businesses and community groups within the county.' Recently, the 37th Fingal Cleaner Communities Awards, were held in County Hall and there on the night from the council were, Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Cian O'Callaghan (Lab), Director of Services, PJ Howell and John Daly, a senior engineer at Fingal County Council. Mayor O'Callaghan addressed the competition winners, saying: 'The Cleaner Communities Awards fosters great community spirit, householders who may not know each other have turned out to take part in clean-ups in their local areas having been encouraged or coerced by their local tidy towns communities. 'We owe a great deal of gratitude to those people who encourage the rest of us to take pride in our surroundings.' PJ Howell said: 'The standard this year is higher than ever before and is a continuing testament to the concern and pride Fingal residents and businesses have for the environment in which we work and live.' This year there were over 100 entrants from all over Fingal in the awards across all its categories, which range from Best Front Garden to the Green Business Award. A total of 35 prizes were awarded on the night, which is an increase of six prizes on last year due to the extremely high standard of entries. The overall prize was awarded to the Balscadden District Community Council for their excellent work within their village.