Glittering presentation night for the real stars of Fenland Council

OUTGOING chief executive Tim Pilsbury hosted the fifth annual staff awards of Fenland District Council at a glittering presentation evening at the BRAZA, March.

Teams who had ‘gone the extra mile’ and individuals who had shone in their work were all celebrated as the awards were unveiled.

There was added poignancy this year as Mr Pilsbury hosted his last awards ceremony prior to taking early retirement at the end of the month.

Even though it was an evening tinged with some sadness at his departure after eight years at the helm, he engaged the audience with an emphatic endorsement of their work across all areas of the council.

It was an achievement, he said, that had catapulted Fenland into the upper echelons of local authorities across the UK and secured widespread acclaim.

Mr Pilsbury also delivered a surprise to his most senior colleagues, emphasising the “one team” approach by handing them the special ‘chief executive’s award’ for outstanding service.

His successor and former deputy, Sandra Claxton, and the rest of the corporate management team were all there to receive the award. Mr Pilsbury also paid special tribute to Mat Taylor, his former finance director who stayed on for a year in a consultancy capacity after emigrating to New Zealand and who returned, briefly, last autumn to identify up to �2 million worth of savings at the council.

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The full list of award winners, and the tributes to them, follow:


David Wright (communications and engagement officer)

In the short time he’s been with the communications team he has transformed the council’s reputation within Fenland. His fantastic work on the quarterly Fenlander newspaper has continued to build on the council’s reputation out in the community, resulting in written praise from customers (and we know how hard that can be sometimes!).

Satisfaction with the service has increased, projects run on time and on budget and people have a new found confidence in using the comms service. David is a champion for good communication with customers throughout the organisation; he’s a pleasure to work with and a real asset to the comms team.

Tom Lewis (principal solicitor)

Here at Fenland we have our very own legal eagle in Tom Lewis, contract negotiator extraordinaire! Tom has played a vital role in assisting a project team developing the new dry recycling and grounds maintenance contracts, working extra hours to make sure they accurately reflect the provision required by Fenland.

And just because he’s always polite, don’t be fooled into thinking that Tom’s a pushover!

He also made sure that the contract provided superb value for money, incredibly important in the current economic climate.

So, is Tom an outstanding member of staff with amazing knowledge and a sunny disposition? Guilty as charged!

Other nominees:

Hedley Fynn-Brand, waste and recycling officer

Thelma Wadsley, neighbourhood services manager.

Karen Freya, senior housing strategy and enabling officer

Shaun Beales, purchasing manager,

Carolyn Jones, technical team leader, development control

Gavin Taylor, Whittlesey street scene officer

Heidi Wedge, business improvement officer

Isabel Edgington, climate change officer

Clare Montgomery, accountant

Susan Brighty, personal assistant.


Round Review Team

The Round Review Project Team is a fantastic example of the one team culture that we have here at Fenland.

They have done an outstanding job in preparing and introducing the round review changes to the whole of the district which affected every single household in the area. The high risks involved in changing the way such a key service is delivered were carefully managed by meticulous planning and top quality preparation. By working so well together, the Round Review Team achieved all the objectives set and implemented the changes seamlessly.

As a result of the project, fuel consumption by refuse freighters has been reduced by up to 10%, and we have been able to decrease the vehicle fleet by two vehicles. Customer satisfaction and staff morale both remained high, a real credit when you consider just how large and complex the project was.

A magnificent success for everyone involved, the Round Review has proved that we can accomplish great things when everyone pulls together.

Other nominees:

Property services team

Benefit fraud investigation team

Parks and open spaces team


Manor Leisure Centre Staff

The Manor Leisure Centre Teams’ commitment and dedication to Fenland customers really is something special. When the centre suffered flash floods late last year, staff worked tirelessly around the clock to try to minimise the damage caused. At the same time, they also ensured that our customers suffered minimal disruption when visiting the leisure centre to keep fit.

The Leisure Centre staff cheerfully answered a whole raft of questions from customers whilst keeping them fully informed of scheduled dates for the completions of repairs. When the date finally arrived for the new flooring to be installed, the fitness suite staff volunteered to come in at 4.00am to set up a temporary gym in the sports hall for all those fitness “Fennatics” who didn’t want to go without their daily fitness fix.

The Manor Leisure Centre staff are a fantastic example of the lengths which staff will go to in order to ensure business as usual - no matter what is going on around them!

Other nominees:

Community Fairs Delivery team

Steve Hammond and Stacey Swann

Ron Lewis, hall keeper

Jonathan and Bernadette Gipson and the Manor Leisure fitness team


Sue Bradshaw

There is no stopping our Sue when she wants to help someone.

Unbelievably, Sue has played a leading role in preventing over 100 people from becoming homeless this year. She has spent a great deal of time and an enormous amount of effort mediating with families, landlords, mortgage companies and partners.

Preventing homelessness goes deeper than keeping people in their homes.

It also impacts on keeping families together, children’s education and everyone’s self esteem. Sue fully appreciates the importance of her work, which is why she will spend so much time patiently try to find the solutions to somebody else’s problem.

Sue is very special. What makes her unique is her belief and true grit for helping our customers out of the most traumatic situations.

Sue is a shining example of what Customer Service Excellence is about.

Avison Warren

Avison deals with much of the correspondence received by the council, which includes some pretty complex and sensitive complaints. By dealing with these issues effectively, Avison is enhancing the council’s reputation, as well as increasing efficiency by reducing the workload of other colleagues.

Some of the more complex complaints are hideously complicated, and there is a need for real detection work to track down the actual problems and offer some kind of solution. But Avison takes it all in his stride, providing meticulous support for his colleagues with a reassuring air of calmness.

Dealing with complaints day in, day out must be very challenging, but Avison is always positive, maintaining a cheerful yet pragmatic outlook on his work. Good stuff Avison, and thank you for your help!

Other nominees:

Mark Saunders, Kathy Woodward, Jan Boyden, Judith Halliday, Mary Bettles, and Roger Money, accountancy

Andy Cornwell, leisure services

Member services team


(The one voted for by all the staff)


Linda March (Payments Assistant)

Linda works in the finance team and is the front-line contact with most of our suppliers. Regularly working in excess of her hours, Linda’s dedication is second to none and she provides a fantastically efficient and accurate service.

Linda always has an incredibly positive attitude and a smile, ensuring that her colleagues receive the top-quality service they deserve. Where would we be without Linda?


Jo Anderson (Electoral Services Assistant) Jo has impressed colleagues with her passion and commitment for delivering the best possible service on behalf of the council. She regularly goes above and beyond the requirements of the job by working long hours but always remains positive in stressful and demanding situations, Jo just oozes enthusiasm and her “one team” approach helps to lift colleagues’ spirits in testing times. She is an inspiration to us all and great fun to work with.

Jo deserves to be recognised for the massive amount of unseen work she undertakes without any complaint.

Other nominees

Andrea Eggleton, Wisbech, Fenland @your service shop supervisor

Ron Lucas, hall keeper

Linda March, payments assistant

Jeanette Milner, Street Pride co-ordinator

Steve Napier, property services and asset manager


Rachel Parnell and the Elections team

Sandra Claxton paid tribute to the work of the team that came together to deliver the General Election and the immense amount of behind the scenes attention to detail that was needed. She praised their enthusiasm, dedication and perserverance ensuring every aspect of the work was attended to meticulously.


CMT (the Corporate Management Team)