STROUD Town Council is celebrating after retaining its Quality Town Council status following a tough examination process.

The local authority was one of the first councils in Gloucestershire to be conferred with the status when it was recognised in 2008.

Out of 8,500 councils in the country only 688 have the quality status, which is reviewed every three years.

Stroud town mayor Amanda Moriarty said: "This is an independent assessment of our work, illustrating that we are representative, competent and well managed.

"We accept we don't get everything right all of the time but this shows that we get most of it right, most of the time."

The Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme, which was launched in 2003, aims to provide a benchmark minimum standard for local authorities across the country.

To be awarded the status, councils must undergo ten tests, which judge the extent to which they promote local democracy and citizenship, communication and community engagement, accountability and training.

A spokesman for the Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils said: "It is a real achievement for a council to retain its Quality status.

"By doing so it demonstrates that it is still in touch with its community and is well managed."