Hackney Council worker up for award

Hackney Council’s Head of Waste Strategy, Mark Griffin, has made it through to the finals of the Council Worker of the Year Awards 2009.

Mark beat off stiff competition from across the country to be short-listed in the Leadership category for his key role in developing, implementing and managing the strategy and services that has seen recycling levels in Hackney increase from one per cent in 2001/02 to 23 per cent in 2007/08.

Developing local commitment has been at the heart of his Mark’s success. He has led Hackney’s successful Street Leaders scheme, inspiring and encouraging residents to get involved in improving our local environment and, together with Hackney’s Green Champions, to be ambassadors for recycling.

Through partnership working he has achieved a major reduction in the levels of unacceptable litter on our streets, down from over 30 per cent in 2005/06 to nine per cent by March 2009.

Mark, who leads a team of 21, said: “There have been significant improvements in Hackney’s waste management over the last six years, which could not have been achieved without the support of the whole team and from across the Council.

“We don’t come in to work to win awards, we come in to offer a high quality service to residents, but I am extremely proud to be short-listed for this award and to receive this recognition.”

In 2006 Hackney became the second local authority, and the first inner city location, to adopt compulsory recycling. This initiative was rolled out in 2007 along with other changes including additional materials added to kerbside collections, expansion of kerbside food waste collections and trials on estates.

Mark has built up a well respected team, both internally and externally - advising New York City on recycling in an urban environment.

Cllr Alan Laing, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We know from our residents that creating a sustainable environment that we can be proud of is key to making Hackney a good place to live, which is why we’ve made this one of our top priorities. I’d like to thank Mark and the waste prevention and recycling services for their hard work and dedication, and for going the extra mile in our continued efforts to make Hackney a cleaner, greener place.”

The Local Council Worker of the Year Awards are run by the Local Government Channel, in association with the Local Government Association.

Cllr Margaret Eaton, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “There are hundreds of thousands of council employees across this country who work to improve their local areas every single day. Each council can give their own examples of staff members who routinely go above and beyond the call of duty in their service to the community. The Council Worker of the Year Awards provide a much needed opportunity to recognise some of the outstanding contributions made by local authority staff.”

From over 300 entries, 43 finalists from local councils across the UK have been short-listed for a top award in ten categories – Working with Young People, Community Engagement, Bravery, Innovation, Leadership, Caring, Green Award, Lifetime Service, Team of the Tear and Transformation.

The awards are designed to recognise the unsung heroes of Local Government. It’s now up to the public to vote to decide who should win the top prize in each of the ten categories.

The winners will be announced on 2 July 2009 at an awards gala dinner in Harrogate. They will receive an engraved trophy and a cheque for £250.00 presented to them by awards host, BBC presenter Jeremy Vine.

To vote for Mark Griffin and for more details about him and the other finalists, including a short film of their work, visit: and click on the Leadership category.

Anyone is eligible to vote by visiting the website or by sending a text message to 80039 - full details also available on the website. Voting will continue right up to 12noon on 2 July, ahead of the awards ceremony.