In the run-up to this year’s C’llr Achievement Awards, we are interviewing previous winners about their proudest moments. In the second of the series we hear from Janet Burgess, Deputy Leader of Islington Council.
Which award did you win?
Age UK Award – 2014
What is your proudest achievement as a councillor?
My proudest achievement as a councillor has been to achieve payment of the London Living Wage to those who work in domiciliary care, and to one residential home. It has led to a considerable decrease in staff turnover, which is really important to those who receive their services. If you are getting intimate personal care from someone, it is so much better if it is the same person rather than a succession of strangers. Better for staff, too. I am also very proud about the fact that Islington continued to provide Social Services for those with Moderate Needs – one of only a handful of councils.
Which of your projects has made the biggest impact for your community?
I have the sports portfolio, too, and the change in provider a couple of years ago has led to considerable improvements in our leisure facilities; a lot of investment has led to a lot more people using the facilities, and the number of active people in Islington is one of the highest in London. I want to continue to encourage less active people to use the centres. OR Increasing the number of custom-built homes for people with learning disabilities in Islington has led to more people being able to live in their own communities instead of outside the Borough – much better for them and their support networks.
What’s the highlight of your time as a councillor so far?
The highlight of being a councillor is, always, the positive effect one can have on individuals. The comment I cherish most is from someone who, coming to the end of a particularly difficult period in her life, said “I couldn’t have done without you”.
How was the awards ceremony?
The award evening was wonderful; I was so thrilled to win, not just for myself of course but because of all the work that Islington Council officers had, and do, put into the wellbeing of people who rely on Social Services. Events like this are an acknowledgement of all that we do, and it is good to meet one’s colleagues.
Help us to recognise the fantastic work being done by councillors you know.
Closing date 22nd August.