Hartlepool councillors honoured at being being shortlisted for national awards

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher.
Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s leader Christopher Akers-Belcher and a fellow councillor Stephen Thomas say they are honoured to have been shortlisted for prestigious national awards.

Coun Akers-Belcher has been nominated for Leader of the Year award and Coun Stephen Thomas in the Health and Social Care category at the 2018 Councillor Achievement Awards.
The annual awards are the only national ceremony to honour the hard work of councillors from across the country that often goes unrecognised.

Coun Stephen Thomas.

Coun Stephen Thomas.

The awards are run by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and the CCLA, and with nearly 200 nominations, the organisers say competition was extremely tight.

Some of the nine categories up for grabs include Leader of the Year, Young Councillor of the Year and Community Champion.

Coun Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “My guiding principle has always been to achieve the very best for Hartlepool and all its residents, working in partnership with people across the town to drive forward improvements on all fronts.

“To be one of just six council leaders from across the country to be shortlisted for the ‘Leader Of The Year Award’ is an immense privilege and I am absolutely delighted.”

Coun Thomas, chair of the council’s Adult Services Committee, said: “To be one of only five councillors nationally to be shortlisted for the ‘Health and Care Award’ is a very great honour indeed.

“I am totally committed to tackling the health inequalities in Hartlepool and ensuring that local people receive the best possible care, and I view this national accolade as recognition not just for me but for all the dedicated professionals and volunteers across the town with whom I have the privilege of working.”

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, November 6, at the London Guildhall.

The winners will be selected by a group of judges made up of local government experts and councillors.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive, LGiU said: “We received nearly 200 nominations for the 2018 Councillor Achievement Awards, so it’s a huge achievement to be shortlisted.

“The shortlisted councillors went above and beyond the call of duty in 2018, making a real difference to their residents.”