Wokingham Borough Council is delighted to announce it is nominated for two MJ local government achievement awards; Corporate Director of the Year and Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency. The prestigious award ceremony will take place on Friday 24 June 2022 at the Park Plaza in Westminster.
Corporate Director of the Year nomination
Director of adult services Matt Pope is nominated for the Corporate Director of the Year award. The award category recognises this role as a vital support to the chief executive, elected members and to the efficient running of the council. Matt led the adult services team through the Covid-19 pandemic whilst in parallel tackling significant financial pressures plus driving transformation at the council.
Matt Pope said: “I am delighted to be nominated for this award. I am supported by a talented and committed staff team in the department who have faced some tough challenges but have always been focused on delivering the best for residents. During the pandemic, many colleagues from across the council were redeployed to support our Covid-19 response and recovery and to deliver vital services to residents in need. Our colleagues have worked exceptionally hard during these unprecedented times to help build safe, strong communities within Wokingham Borough – and being nominated for this award is a testament to their efforts.”
Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency nomination
The council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan is nominated for the Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency award. In declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the council committed to play as full a role as possible in achieving a carbon-neutral Wokingham Borough by 2030. The action plan, which was recently rated 10th best nationally by Climate Emergency UK, provides a high level of detail about the council’s carbon targets and how it is planning to achieve them in collaboration with partners and the local community.
The plan identifies eight key action areas to tackle climate change, including reducing emissions from transport, business and residential properties, generating more renewable energy, reducing waste, planting trees, and encouraging net zero construction. There are many ways the council is planning to tackle climate change including:
· Reducing carbon dioxide emissions from domestic and business property
· General more renewable energy in the borough
· Creating a local plan that specifies net zero construction and infrastructure
· Increasing the levels of carbon sequestration in the borough through greening the environment
· Engaging with young people and support sustainable schools
· Reducing waste sent to landfill
· Encouraging behaviour change
Rhian Hayes, interim assistant director of housing and place, said: “As a council, we are leading the way by being bold and aspirational in our work striving to become carbon neutral. We’re working on projects as diverse as building four solar farms, creating a ‘green bank’ to help low income residents reduce their energy use and convert to green energy technologies, and planting 250K trees across the borough, as well as retrofitting all 80 schools in the borough with solar panels and battery storage.
“The work to reduce our carbon emissions cuts across all areas of the council and this nomination is a sign that we are on the right track. There is a lot of work to be done, but we are heading in the right direction.”
Since 2004, the MJ awards have been held every year and celebrate the best in local government services and personnel. The award ceremony is one of the major events within the public sector.
More from Wokingham Borough Council
Stay connected to the communities around you. Enjoy the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic, general news, updates and highlights straight in your inbox. Subscribe to our Wokingham Borough Connect newsletters now.