Long serving council staff honoured

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Mayor of Harrogate Councillor Robert Windass has recognised the efforts of council staff who have dedicated a combined 840 years service to the authority.

Long service certificates to staff who have served 10, 20, 30 and 40 years in the district were awarded by the Mayor at a ceremony this week.

Transport Manager Alan Smith and Senior Play Area Technician Tony Jackson celebrated 40 years of service.

Mr Smith, the fourth generation of his family to work for the council, said: “When I first started we had 25 vehicles we now look after 334. But the vehicles are a lot more reliable and of course technical. It is just as much about computers these days as it is about mechanics. And, yes, there may have been changes but most are for the better and I still thoroughly enjoy my job.”

Mr Jackson said: “Many years ago, we would have been riding bikes to get to our parks and opens spaces and sometimes carrying our saws to carry out tree work. But one of the saddest times was when we had to fell hundreds of trees in the 1970s Dutch Elm disease epidemic.”

Coun Windass said: “These officers come from all areas of the council, managers, administrative officers, gardeners, lifeguards and refuse collectors. But they all have one thing in common, their commitment and dedication to their employer, residents and customers.

“I wanted to have this opportunity to thank them for their service and their loyalty.”

Recipients of 30 years service awards were: Julie Bendelow, Senior Management Assistant; Anthony Evans, Transport Workshop Co-ordinator Rosemary Hall, Business Support Assistant; Michael Pawson, Motor Transport Fitter; Christine Pyatt, Customer Services Manager; Janet Taylor, Senior Assistant Accountant; Richard Watson, Deputy Team Leader.

Recognised for 20 years service were: Dawn Douglas, Lifeguard; Phil Dyson, Civil Enforcement Officer; Phil Hunt, Tenancy and Enforcement Recovery Officer; Julie Oldfield, Elections Officer; Debra Parish, Customer Services Officer; Oliver Scaife, Area Leisure Manager; Jennifer Thwaites, Senior Benefit Customer Services Officer; Brenda Vaughan, Receptionist; Angela Watson, Operational Support Officer; Martin Wright, Senior Collections Officer.

Recognised for a decade of service were: Clare Barker, Receptionist; Andrew Bell, Technical Administrative Assistant; Miles Branton, Grave Digger/Gardener; Robin Derry, Emergency Planning Officer; Julie Doe, Planning Administrator; Thomas Donnelly, Motor Transport Fitter; Corinne Firbank, Solicitor; Andrew Kirk, Management Support Officer; Bruce MacFarlane, Kerbside Recycling Driver; Karen Moulson, Planning Technician; Joanne Raw, Benefit Customer Services Officer; Marie Riley, Business Support Assistant; Ann Wright, Building Facilities Technician; Ian Wright, Refuse Driver.