The small coastal community of Fedje in Nordhordland was ranked on Thursday as Norway’s best in terms of providing services to its 576 residents, according to the state consumer council (Forbrukerrådet).
The council annually tests the country’s municipalities (kommuner) in regards to services, accessibility of local officials and information for residents. Fedje Mayor Stian Herøy received the prize for being the best in the country.
“This is great, and exciting for a little community,” Herøy told state broadcaster NRK. Fedje is the smallest township to ever win the prize, reported the council in a press release.
It has plans to merge with neighbouring communities of Lindås, Radøy, Meland, Austrheim, Gulen, Modalen and Masfjorden, to form a new and much bigger local government entity in line with the municipal mergers urged by the Conservatives-led state government. Many also want to stay independent, with the mayor saying that being small can have advantages but also challenges. Larger municipalities, according to the consumer council itself, generally have better results in distributing social services than small ones.
Kvalsund in Finnmark, Northern Norway, emerged with the dubious distinction of ranking lowest among the country’s 428 municipalities. It scored well in providing information to residents but not in delivering services, and won zero points for recreational and cultural offerings.
To see the entire list of rankings, click here (external link, in Norwegian).