They say that at Christmas it is better to give than to receive…
In light of this I spent several happy hours this week trying to get fully into the spirit of Christmas with some giving with a serious purpose.
Firstly I was delighted to attend the council’s “Big Difference” awards at Hove Town Hall. These awards recognise the contribution of some of the most dedicated and committed members of staff from across the council’s range of services.
It was really heart-warming to hear of the difference that these staff have made to residents, and their colleagues as well, through their expertise, innovation and through going that extra mile to solve problems and find solutions.
Staff from a range of services such as our seafront team, legal services, housing, community, learning teams and some of our more recent new staff, were all nominated by their colleagues.
We heard about the important changes that our Individual of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Team of the Year and Leader of Year had made for those nominating them.
And those winning the awards had clearly really made a big difference and pulled out all the stops to make sure the city council’s services and communities were supported.
I then moved on from giving my thanks and handing out certificates to a gift wrapping session with staff from across the city.
Each year our Health and Safety Team collects Christmas gifts from staff across the council for the hundred or so residents of the city’s hostels.
For many residents this may be the only Christmas gift they receive each year and the team not only collect them from the four council collection points, but they distribute them fairly and then the wrapping begins.
I’m not a great present wrapper, to be honest, and I only hope that the gifts that I was able to wrap are still in mint condition by the time they are received.
It may well be better to give than to receive but in this one case both are truly important.
So Seasons Greetings to everyone – and for those of you working over the break please accept my sincerest thanks.
Councillor Daniel Yates is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.