Staff from Epping Forest District Council were recognised for their energy, imagination and hard work in creating excellent services for residents of the Epping Forest district at the annual Team and Employee of the Year awards 2009. The Leader of Council, Councillor Diana Collins and Environmental Protection Portfolio Holder Councillor Mary Sartin presented certificates to the winners and high commendation certificates to the runners up in each of the three categories. The winners of each category will be presented with a glass trophy by the Chairman of Council Councillor John Knapman at the annual civic awards to be held at Woolston Manor on 20 March 2009.
The three categories are; Improving Services for the Community, Innovation and Dealing with the Public.
Improving Services for the Community
Winner – Simon Hill
In a world where local democracy is generally considered to be out of touch and in decline, Simon has brought Epping Forest District Council into the homes of local residents through webcasting meetings and events – we are receiving the most hits on the website for any District or Borough Council in the country. From training to team building to the hugely successful Big Youth Debate, Simon has also played a key role in developing links with the young people of the district. In contrast to the usually quiet role of a Committee Officer, he has put enormous enthusiasm and commitment into supporting the development of Epping Forest Youth Council.
High commendation – David Hogg
David Hogg has made an almost instant impact in a new role of Active Health Officer, developing a range of community-based projects to improve the lives of older people. David`s work with older people and the introduction of Wii s at our sheltered housing schemes has also been inspirational. Residents were featured on Match of the Day through his working with Tottenham Hotspur!
Winner – the Youth Council Strategy Team
The Youth Strategy Team is made up of staff from Community Development, Public Relations and Democratic Services. They established the Youth Council and supported the 17 young people elected with training and mentoring. They organised the Big Youth Debate “ possibly the most successful consultation and engagement the Council has ever been involved in. The Strategy Team has done a fantastic job behind the scenes engaging with the district`s young people and enabling them to voice their interests and concerns.
High commendation – Sharon Lekha
Sharon Lekha works within Corporate Support Services. She always shows terrific drive and enthusiasm for her job. Her nomination is for her work introducing the new postal services, which will save the Council thousands of pounds.
Dealing with the Public
Winner – Epping Forest Careline
Careline is a dedicated and professional team, part of the Housing service supporting people with special needs, elderly and vulnerable people. special needs and the vulnerable. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing many with much-needed support, keeping people safe and secure in their own homes. They are all a real credit to the Council and provide a lifesaving service to the public. Their input to the health and wellbeing of our residents is well above anyone`s expectations.
High commendation – the Forward Planning Team
The Forward Planning Team has managed perhaps the toughest public consultation task ever undertaken by Epping Forest District Council “ seeking public views on future Gypsy and Traveller sites in the district. With the consultation still ongoing and attracting national media attention, this team of professionals has met hundreds of people at exhibitions and dealt with huge numbers of phone calls. The team assists the public with a complex and difficult consultation document, using every means possible of giving local residents a voice, often bearing the brunt of public frustration and anger.
Leader of Council Councillor Diana Collins said: “As Leader I see a great deal of the work of the Council, meeting Councillors from other areas and I can say that Epping Forest District Council enjoys a high reputation based on its excellent services. Our staff are our greatest asset, fulfilling the direction of the Council set by Members and the Chief Executive Peter Haywood and his senior staff. We are here today to recognise and thank the best of the best.”
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