Birmingham staff named UK's best council workers

Last updated 9th July 2010

A Birmingham City Council climate change champion and a gas servicing team which keeps more than 59,000 residents a year safe, were celebrating today after being named the best public sector workers in the country.

Sustainability Manager, Leo McMulkin and Birmingham City Council’s Gas Maintenance Team, last night won two of the six categories up for grabs at the Local Government Channel’s ‘Council Worker of the Year Awards.’

The awards are the most prestigious public sector staff awards in the country, with winners chosen via a public vote.

Winning the ‘Green’ Council Worker of the Year category, Leo McMulkin has (among other projects) led work to introduce a network of combined heat and power systems in the city centre, a key element of the Council’s plans to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 60% by 2026.

The system – one of the largest in the UK – recycles heat produced from electricity generation into key buildings, delivering substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “Tackling climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the city council both now, and into the future, and Leo is undoubtedly at the forefront of leading the innovative work in this area for which we are known.”

The Council’s Gas Maintenance Team meanwhile scooped first prize in the ‘Team of the Year’ category for its work in successfully carrying out annual gas safety inspections within all 59,000 council-owned properties in the city – the third year running it has achieved this landmark.

The team has attracted national recognition – Birmingham Audit and CORGI (now the Gas Safety Register) the gas industry’s regulator, both rated the service excellent with CORGI stating it as one of the best services they had audited in 2009. The icing on the cake is that Birmingham’s tenants agree. In recognition of being kept safe and warm in their homes, customer satisfaction levels have risen to 98% with over 17,000 annual feedback forms returned.

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is a very well deserved win for my officers. They have shown determination and enthusiasm in keeping our tenants in safe homes, year in, year out.

“I’m delighted with their hard work to ensure that every single council property in Birmingham has been visited for safety checks. As far as I am aware, no other authority that comes close to the size of Birmingham has ever matched 100% gas servicing, let alone for three years in a row – it is a fantastic achievement.”

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