Hartlepool Council workers to be rewarded – as long as bosses can cover costs

Councillor Rob Cook
Councillor Rob Cook

HARDWORKING council staff are to be recognised for their efforts at a revamped awards ceremony – providing bosses can secure external sponsorship to cover the cost.

Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to bring back its Celebrating Achievement event, which was first launched in the summer of 2007 and attended by 300 people, but has since been scaled back in light of budget cuts.

Now bosses are looking to bring back the event, so long as enough sponsorship money can be secured to cover the £6,000 cost.

Councillors sitting on the finance and policy committee backed the plans at a recent meeting.

Dave Stubbs, council chief executive, said the report was brought to the committee to ensure there was political backing for the event.

Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “In the current economic climate we can’t have any further burden on finances and if it can’t be realised through sponsorship we can’t press ahead with the event.

“It is right and proper though that we do recognise those staff members who work above and beyond and who are being asked to do more for less.”

Labour councillor Chris Simmons said: “It is very important that we do recognise the achievements of our staff.”

Labour councillor Rob Cook said: “Everybody is 100 per cent behind this event.

“To my mind, every member of staff in this local authority is a winner.”

Coun Akers-Belcher added: “That is the message that we have to continually put out there.”

Senior officers are looking to hold the event in the autumn.

Suggested awards so far include leadership award, innovation and improvement award, customer focus award, teamwork, outstanding service, apprentice award and special recognition.

A council report said: “Holding a Celebrating Achievement event at no cost to the authority has the potential to benefit greatly by increased levels of employee engagement.

Employee recognition is vital in order to demonstrate to the workforce that they are valued and appreciated particularly during these difficult times. It is also a powerful tool for fostering employee engagement.”

Since 2011, the event was scaled back and the event only recognised long service and academic or vocational achievements.