A COUNCIL has been shortlisted for three top awards for the work it has done during the pandemic.

The Municipal Journal (the MJ), a local government publication, is hosting the MJ Achievement Awards - and Somerset County Council (SCC) has been nominated in three categories.

These categories include:

  • Best Workforce Transformation - for its work on redeployment during the pandemic
  • Community Heroes - for the work of Community Council for Somerset's Village and Community Agents
  • Delivering Best Outcomes - for Somerset's Microproviders: independent care providers who offered a lifeline for Somerset's isolate rural population during the pandemic

SCC leader, Cllr David Fothergill, said: “I’m incredibly proud to see Somerset County Council and our partners shortlisted for three awards – particularly this year, as local authorities across the UK have been going above and beyond the call of duty to serve communities in the pandemic response.

"Our workforce has demonstrated heroic levels of dedication and creativity to ensure that the residents of Somerset were supported and protected during the pandemic.

"During this period, our staff volunteered to distribute PPE, support registration services, set-up (and resource) pop-up care homes, help with testing and led on setting-up our community vaccination centres.

"On behalf of the council, I’d like to thank all involved for their incredible work, and wish them lots of luck for the awards night!”

The awards night will take place in London on Friday, September 17.

Multiple local authorities will go head to head in the chance of winning in 16 different categories.

Keeley Rudd, chief executive of Community Council for Somerset, said the nomination was 'well-deserved'.

“It was absolutely amazing to see our fantastic Community and Village Agents nominated for the Community Heroes MJ award this year, as they braved the coronavirus to bring food, friendship, company, knowledge, and encouragement to Somerset communities," she added.

"Through their wit and ingenuity, they found new ways to keep people connected – whether through donation drives for phones, bikes, and cars, or regular digital events for the lonely and self-isolating.

"Of course, we really hope they will win, but irrespective of the outcome, we think they are already true community heroes!”

Cllr David Huxtable, SCC's cabinet member for adult social care, said Somerset's Microproviders have gone 'above and beyond' the call of duty this year.

"They’ve coped remarkably well in the face of enormous pressures and a growing demand for care, providing physical, emotional, and social support to people to help them live independent, dignified lives where they are in control," he said.

"Huge congratulations to all involved!”