On behalf of Douglas Borough Council His Worship the Mayor, Councillor John Skinner JP, has recognised the long service of four employees.
A reception in the Mayor’s parlour saw Senior Library Assistant Shirley Moore recognised for 40 years’ service and Assistant Chief Officer (Environment) Alan Donnelly and James Spiby, craftsman labourer - housing recognised for 20 years’ service.
Blacksmith Kevin Lee, who had also completed 20 years’ service, was unable to attend.
Mrs Moore, who began her career with the Council when the Henry Bloom Noble Library was housed next door to the town hall, is known for her enthusiastic organising of children’s activity and craft sessions, only too happy to appear dressed as a character from a book to inspire and entertain young readers. She is also always a leading figure in the annual Summer Reading Challenge, which has been supported by the library since 2007.
Mr Donnelly joined the Council from the private sector as Engineering Services Manager in what was then the Borough Engineer and Surveyor’s Department, being made Assistant Borough Engineer in 2001. From 2015 his role changed to Assistant Chief Officer (Environment) in the new Environment and Regeneration Department. He manages, plans and controls the operations and staff of the Waste and Cleansing and Recycling Services; Engineering; Transport and Plant; Electrical Services; Purchasing and Stores Services as well as overseeing the facilities management of the Council’s Service Centre at Ballacottier, and the Eastern Civic Amenity Site.
As an Assistant Chief Officer and part of the Extended Corporate Management Team, he also leads and participates in many corporate cross-departmental matters such as car parks, CCTV, project management and regeneration.
His most recent achievements have been working on the restructuring of the Council and his own Department; promoting and expanding the Council’s recycling initiatives and education, and public lighting improvements involving lower maintenance and more energy efficiency.
Some of this culminated in Waste Services recently winning the 2017 Keep Britain Tidy Quality Improvement Award for fitting Enovo sensors to its street litter bins (130 in total in Douglas) to help streamline collections, and allow bins to be located where demand is greater and deploy the operatives more efficient; and Waste Services were also finalists in the same awards for the Best Recycling campaign category for their recycling videos aimed at encouraging people to recycle.
Mr Spiby began working for the Council in the Housing Maintenance Service, based at Lake Road, before the Council moved its operations to the Ballacottier Service Centre in 2006.
His role is to assist the maintenance workforce with the general maintenance of the Council’s housing stock and sheltered housing complexes, work which sometimes means he has to work at height and with hazards. This requires him to be trained in, and have a good knowledge of, working at height, safe handling, health and safety and hazardous substances legislation and to be able to safely handle appropriate equipment.
Mr Lee, who was unable to attend the presentation, started work as an Engineering Craftsman in the then Technical Services Department at the Corporation Depot in Lake Road and then became a blacksmith in Electrical Services, at the Ballacottier Service Centre.
Trained in metalwork and welding at the Isle of Man College his job involves carrying out metal fabrications, repairs, welding, metal grinding, polishing and drilling, which sometimes requires him to work in difficult conditions, such as confined spaces, underground and using breathing apparatus.
His work ranges from repairing and maintaining railings such as in the town’s garden squares to crafting bespoke fittings for street lights and Christmas lights and decorations, as well as for attractions in Summerhill Glen and for the wreath holders and wires on Douglas War Memorial. He has also worked on designing and making to measure the furniture trolleys for moving Council furniture in and out of the Chamber.
Ahead of presenting the certificates of long service His Worship said: ‘The loyalty and commitment of our employees is a vital contribution to the continued success of the Council; and our Long Service Awards are the cornerstone of how the Council shows its recognition in the workplace, and helps to reinforce the relationship between the Council as an employer and its greatly valued members of staff.
‘The awards are a way of saying thank you to our employees, particularly those who have given many years of service, and recognising their immense contribution over that period of time.
‘On behalf of the Council, thank you for your hard work over many years. Congratulations, and long may your careers continue with the Council.’