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GLOVES ARE OFF AS VOTING OPENS FOR COUNCIL WORKER OF THE YEAR 2007

1st May 2007 – The finalists who will battle it out at this year’s Local Council Worker of the Year awards are being announced today by the Local Government Channel, in association with the Local Government Association.

Twenty four high flying workers from local councils across the UK have been shortlisted for the six awards this year, which are for Innovation, Initiative, Carer, Leadership, Length of Service and Inclusion, because of their outstanding contribution in frontline local government jobs. The finalists have fended off tough competition from a record number of award entrants from over 150 local councils.

The winners will be announced on 5th July 2007 at the Awards’ Gala Dinner, at the LGA Annual Conference in Birmingham and they will each receive an engraved trophy and a cheque for £250.00 presented by journalist and broadcaster, Jon Snow.

Films of all the finalists’ achievements will be broadcast on the local government channel every morning at 6.30am on Sky 539, Virgin TV 233 and Freeview 87 and or online at www.localgovernmentchannel.com.

Supporters can vote for their favourite finalist via the local government channel website. They can also text the number 88600 LGA and then list the award number between 1-6 (listed below) and the first name of the nominee, for example - 88600 LGA 1 Lizzy. All text messages cost 25p each.

500,000 votes are expected as the competition heats up as this year’s awards have attracted a record number of entrants and there is no limit to the amount of votes people can cast. Voting will continue right up to the evening of the 5th July 2007, when the winners will be announced.

Jon Snow, said: “The unsung heroes of local government, who have done so much to improve and bolster local services are being recognised with these awards. They are often facing the frontline of need, without great resource”

Kevin Maguire, Associate Editor of the Daily Mirror said: "The Council Worker of the Year Awards help raise public and media awareness of the varied and important jobs performed daily, without fanfare, by tens of thousands of workers. I'm delighted to commend these awards and to congratulate those whose efforts to serve the public will be deservedly recognised”

Last year’s winner of the Local Government Employee of the Year Award Julie Blagden of Salford City Council said: "Winning the Local Government Employee of the Year Award 2006 meant so much to me. The support of my colleagues, the people of Salford and the general public was truly overwhelming. Not only a personal honour, it also helped to raise the profile of Salford City Council and the excellent work it is doing in its communities. I urge all local authorities to nominate a front line worker for this award in 2007."

Councillor John Merry, leader of Salford City Council commented, "Our success in the 2006 Awards boosted confidence and pride at all levels because it illustrated how everyone in our authority can make a difference to the lives of people in Salford."

Sandy Bruce Lockhart, chairman of the Local Government Association said: “These awards celebrate those working in councils up and down the country who have made a positive impact on their community in a myriad of different ways.”

The Finalists are as follows:

1.Award for Innovation Council

Martin Jackaman, Nottingham City Council
Jagjit Singh Bains, Leicester City Council
Lynn Harvey Williams, Hinckley Bosworth Borough Council
Steve Wood, Oxfordshire County Council

2. Award for Initiative

Harold Pyle, Newcastle City Council
Julian Cox, Bristol City Council
Sonia Scowcroft, Preston City Council
Paul Burrows, Hampshire County Council

3. Award for Carer of the year

Dawn Beesley, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
Robin Pye, Birmingham County Council
George Pothecary, Southampton City Council
Jennifer Campbell, LB Brent

4. Award for Leadership

David Gill, Dacorum Borough Council
Naomi Biggs, Thanet District Council
Sue Cleaver,Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service
Brian Grady, Devon County Council

5. Award for Length of Service

Dave Jackson,Cardiff County Council
Alice Dair, Staffordshire County Council
Win Flower, Daventry District Council
Gordon Price, Hinckley & Bosworth Council

6. Award for Inclusion

Natwarlal Tailor, Preston City Council
Juno Hollyhock, Southampton City Council
Brenda Lewis, Southend on Sea Borough Council
Michelle Epstein, LB Redbridge

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information, please contact:
Kathryn Hughes or Lizzie Nayman on Tel: 020 7612 1830
Email: Kathryn or Lizzie@hblmedia.com

Set up in September 2005, The Local Government Channel www.localgovernmentchannel.com is presented by Sky News anchor Sarah Lockett

And broadcasts at 6.30am daily on Sky channel 539, Virgin TV 233 and Freeview 87.The channel highlights topical news stories and current affairs in local government and the community, in association with The Municipal Journal and is the leading TV channel focusing on local government.

Our channel is unique in its complete dedication to local government, and it has an audience of nearly two million key members of local government to whom we communicate via our TV channel, online portal, regular emails and out monthly newsletter. The channel is fully endorsed by the Local Government Association and works in partnership with SOLACE, SOCITM, CIPFA and many other government bodies.

Our news programmes are updated weekly with a twenty four hour streaming via the website, featuring local authorities and their partners, such as BT, Royal Mail and the Post Office. The channel provides a whole host of news, views, interviews and also showcases best practice in local government from the UK and overseas. The website also contains an archive containing vast content from within local government.

The Local Council Worker of the Year awards are now in their second year and a record number of votes are expected.


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