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THE COUNT DOWN BEGINS TO FIND THE PUBLIC SECTOR HERO OF 2006

Nominations for The Local Government Channel’s ”Employee of the Year Award” to be received by 31st March 2006

With just one week left for Local Authorities to submit nominations for The Local Government Channel’s – www.thelocalgovernmentchannel.com - first ever “Employee of the Year Award”, the count down to find the public sector hero of 2006 has begun in ernest. With each and every Local Authority across the country being encouraged to nominate one frontline worker from any sector, the nominations have been rolling in thick and fast. However, for the Authorities that have yet to nominate an employee, there is still time, with the deadline set at the 31st March 2006.

The award, which celebrates the contribution that frontline public sector employees make to their community, has the full support of the LGA (Local Government Association) – www.lga.gov.uk - as well as endorsement from ex bin man turned X Factor star, Andy Abraham. The winner will be the public sector employee that best demonstrates his or her ability to go above and beyond the call of duty or, as Andy might say, has that certain X Factor. The winner will be presented with an engraved trophy and a cheque for £500 by Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Chairman of the LGA, on the final day of the LGA’s Annual Conference at Bournemouth International Centre, 4th - 7th July 2006.

Enthusing about the ‘Employee of the Year Award’, Andy said: ‘Public services are vital to communities up and down the country and the role of the people who provide them is often undervalued. It’s time to shout about those achievements and it gives me great pleasure to be able to endorse this award. Having worked for local government for many years, I can appreciate the value of being recognised in this way. I’m therefore pleased to able to join in praising the people who give so much to their communities.’

Stephen Horn, Chief Executive Officer at hbl media, producer of The Local Government Channel, said: ‘We’re delighted to have the support of Andy Abraham in our search for the public sector employee of the year. He is a shining example of a former public sector worker that has achieved the recognition and praise that he deserves, albeit in a new capacity. We envisage that the ‘Employee of the Year’ award will help us identify the local government employee that demonstrates the same star quality within their role serving the local community.’

Selected by a judging panel, six finalists will each feature in a short film which will be screened on The Local Government Channel - Sky Channel 181 – in the run up to the LGA Annual conference. The films can also be viewed online at www.thelocalgovernmentchannel.com. Viewers will be encouraged to vote for the winner either by TV remote control, via the web portal, or by SMS. Voting via SMS will continue up to and throughout the final day of the Conference and, using the latest technology and compelling visuals, The Local Government Channel will screen the results live via plasma screen, enabling attendees to follow the interactive poll right up until the nail-biting end.

To nominate an employee, The Local Government Channel simply requires a 200 word application which clearly states the contribution that the candidate makes to the community they serve and explains why they should win the award. The application must be endorsed by the Local Authority’s Chief Executive. Applications should be emailed to employeeaward@hblmedia.com before the 31st March 2006.

-Ends-

Notes for Editors:

About the Local Government Channel
Aimed at the local government community, the Local Government Channel broadcasts weekly programmes, combining news, views and interviews with the movers and shakers in local government. Programmes can be viewed daily on Sky Channel 181 at 6.30pm Monday to Friday and at midday on Sunday. Viewers can also catch the programmes any time day or night through a new dedicated web portal – www.localgovernmentchannel.com

About hbl media
Launched and run by senior BBC journalists, hbl media is the leading television production company in the local government sector. Having launched LGAtv, SOLACEtv, CIPFAtv and many others, it is widely respected for having brought the power of television to bear on the issues facing the public sector. With offices in London and the USA, hbl media is currently bringing this expertise to bear on a global scale.

For further information please contact

Vicky Hayden
hbl media
020 7612 1830
vicky@hblmedia.com