As you probably know, I was up for an award last Friday. It was the County Council's Community Directorate Annual Awards for Excellence and the group of people I led, and me, were nominated for the work we did on the new council website. And we won in the Customer Focus category. It was a real honour and a huge accolade. To give you an idea, there are more than 4000 people working for the Directorate - in Libraries, Museums, Archives, Social Care, Learning Disabilties Services, Economic Development, Arts, Culture, and many other projects - and there were four individual awards and four team awards.
I felt very honoured, both for myself and the members of the team of people I worked with to get the job done in very trying circumstances. Nothing seemed to be as easy as it should have been but, and the Corporate Director mentioned this in the citation for the award, every time there was a deadline, every time there was a rush to get things to a particular point, it was my team that finished ahead of everyone else. We met every deadline first, and usually with time to spare - and this was all done by people who still had a 'day job' to do on top of everything else. I absorbed almost all the pressure and just let them get on with the things I was asking them to do. There were times when it was very stressful, but we always got through with a smile, a laugh and a huge sigh of relief.
I'm really proud to have been recognised in this way and the award, after it has done the rounds so that everyone involved can have it on their desks for a while, will sit on my desk in pride of place. And just for the record, I can confirm, it's bloody heavy!