A FOSTER carer councillor from Greenock has told of her delight at being crowned the best town hall newcomer in the country.

The SNP's Elizabeth Robertson, who was elected in May last year, won the best new councillor prize at the inaugural Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) Scotland Awards.

The Inverclyde North representative impressed judges with her work helping children in care, using her own experience as a foster carer to make new links with services.

She was also commended for using her understanding of the issues experienced by people in poverty to ask probing questions in committee meetings and challenge officials in a positive way.

Councillor Robertson said: "I feel really honoured.

"It was lovely enough just to be nominated. "I'm delighted that the first new councillor award in Scotland went to a councillor for Inverclyde and it's something for the community to remember."

Mrs Robertson lives in the west end of Greenock with her husband and their four children - two boys and two girls - aged nine, 10, 12 and 18.

They are also currently looking after three other young people.

Councillor Robertson said: "My husband and I have been foster carers for seven years. "It's a privilege and something we really love doing for this community. "There's families that just need a wee 'punt up' sometimes, and if we can be part of that process it's great.

"We're really blessed to be in a position to do this. "My experience is something I hope I bring to meetings and it helps when making decisions and people tend to respond well to what I've got to say.

"My husband was with me at the awards ceremony as well and he was very proud.

"It was lovely to see Inverclyde's name up there on the board in amongst the awards."

The prize-giving took place in Edinburgh's City Chambers, organised by the LGiU think-tank.

Dr Jonathan Carr-West, its chief executive, said: "Councillor Robertson has demonstrated huge talent and dedication. "The outstanding quality of the nominations we received this year stands as a testament to the exceptional job many councillors are doing for their community."