WINNERS Pictured with the awards won by Mayo County Council were, from left: Simon Shevlin, Director of Services; Geraldine Horkan, Westport Chamber of Commerce; John Condon, Director of Services; Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Richard Finn; Anne Cunnane, Ballyhaunis Chamber of Commerce; Chief Executive (Interim) of Mayo County Council, Peter Duggan; Mags Downey, Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Catherine McConnell, Tom Gilligan and John Magee, Directors of Service.
Accolades aplenty for Mayo County Council’s ‘innovative’ and ‘ambitious’ staff
In late 2020, Chambers Ireland named Mayo County Council the overall Local Authority of the Year. The title was awarded as part of the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards, which also saw Mayo County Council win in three other categories – Festival of the Year for Virtual Mayo Day 2020; Health and Wellbeing for Making Positive Choices; and Local Authority Innovation category for its Weather Impact Register App.
The Innovation category winner, Mayo County Council’s Weather Impact Register App, is a simple tool for local authorities (and other state agencies) to record and collate the actual impacts and some of the associated costs of climate change in their areas. The GIS based dataset together with the dashboard and filters developed alongside the app will provide a spatial distribution.
The council’s Making Positive Choices programme, winner in the Health and Wellbeing category, is a collaborative project that addresses road safety issues on the Mayo islands, and worked closely with young people.
People power praised
The arrival of Covid-19 and the restrictions that followed meant the opportunity to receive the very welcome awards took some time. However, last week Cathaoirleach, Cllr Richard Finn, Chief Executive, Peter Duggan and the Senior Management Team of Mayo County Council were delighted to accept the awards in a presentation made by representatives from Chambers Ireland through their affiliated offices in Mayo.
Geraldine Horkan of Westport Chamber, Ann Cunnane of Ballyhaunis Chamber and Mags Downey of Ballina Chamber presented the four honours.
Accepting the awards, Cllr Richard Finn, Cathaoirleach for Mayo County Council said he was honoured to accept these awards on behalf of the council. “Projects such as Virtual Mayo Day, Making Positive Changes and Weather Impact Register are great examples of the innovative work that can be done when groups of people come together with pride in their county at the heart of their work,” he said.
“The exemplary work of the staff and the elected members of this council has resulted in the award of Local Authority of the Year, and I accept this prestigious award on their behalf. Such awards are not easily won, and we in Mayo County Council are proud that the services we provided and the council’s high standards do not go unrecognised. A Council of the Year award is the icing on the cake.”
Interim Chief Executive Peter Duggan was equally as magnanimous in his praise for his colleagues. “On behalf of the management and staff of Mayo County Council, I am very proud to accept these four awards, including the award for Local Authority of the Year.
“The awards are all about excellence in local government, which is what we strive to achieve as a local authority … these awards are testament to all who have put in hard work and showed great commitment and resilience throughout what was an unprecedented year.”
Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, praised the staff of Mayo County Council for their ambition and talent. “Demonstrating an ability to be both responsive and innovative, they have clearly benefitted Mayo communities through their work. We expect this ambition to continue and look forward to seeing what more is achieved in these important years ahead.”