The chief executive of Caerphilly County Borough Council has been nominated for the Chief Executive of the Year award, while the council’s catering team is also up for an award.
Christina Harrhy is one of five council chief executives from across Wales and England shortlisted for the honour.
The MJ Local Government Achievement Awards will be held in London on September 17.
In an e-booklet produced by awards organisers The Municipal Journal (The MJ), Ms Harrhy is described as “a driven, courageous and inspirational leader”.
Her biography goes on to read: “Christina Harrhy has dedicated herself to public service over three decades. She is a proactive leader who has gone above and beyond her organisation’s response to Covid and demonstrated excellent work with partners.”
Ms Harrhy was appointed as the council’s chief executive on a permanent basis in March 2020, having served as the interim chief executive for two years.
Meanwhile, the council’s catering team have been shortlisted for the ‘Best Council Services Team’ award.
The catering team was nominated for the award due to its free school meal delivery service, which has seen more than 1.3m meals delivered to children across the borough since the start of the pandemic.
The catering team’s nomination read: “The scheme utilised local suppliers and had to accommodate dietary requirements along with a potential lack of cooking facilities in the children’s homes.
“Despite the challenges, families received a weekly doorstep delivery including five frozen meals, bread, milk and desserts.”
Ms Harrhy, said: “What can I say about our amazing catering team, who I have witnessed in the howling wind and rain loading vehicles, overcoming logistical nightmares and constantly altering plan to meet the demand. Never has there been a team of people more deserving of this award, I wish them the best of luck.”
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She added: “As for my nomination, I am humbled and shocked, and really proud to have reached the final, but in reality I feel like I have already won.
“Each and every day the staff in Team Caerphilly have got up and delivered, not just run of the mill work, but absolutely outstanding things that have been simply life-changing for residents in their darkest hour – all whilst facing their own personal struggles amidst a pandemic.
“For that I am very proud and it is my privilege to lead this organisation.”
Councillor Philippa Marsden, leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, said she was “absolutely thrilled” with the nominations.
She said: “The whole organisation deserves recognition for what we have achieved over the past 16 months and what we continue to achieve. This recognition reinforces what a strong partnership can achieve in Local Government when the Leadership work side-by-side – I couldn’t be more proud.”
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