Council leader deemed "inspiration" after winning top awardBy Jennie Slevin
February 28, 2013
The leader of Bracknell Forest Council has been honoured as an ‘inspiration’ when he was recognised for dedicating 20 years to local Government.
Councillor Paul Bettison won the judges’ special award for Contribution to Local Government at the national 2013 Councillor Achievement Awards in Westminster City Hall, London, on Monday.
The top award is also known as the lifetime achievement award, but the 59-year-old said he’s not about to give up.
He said: “I’m still below the average age of a councillor so I’m not ready to hang up my boots yet. I’ve told them they’re not getting rid of me easily.
“I still wake up every morning excited about the day and what I’m going to be doing.”
Cllr Bettison, who has led the council for 16 years added: “One of the great privileges of my role is still the number of interesting people I meet and things I get to do that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
“Not just the things like meeting Prince Charles or visits to 10 Downing Street, but the people I meet everyday – I find it very humbling.”
Dr Jonathan Carr-West, acting chief executive of LGiU (Local Government Information Unit), which organised the awards said: “All too often, we can overlook the important contributions councillors make to our communities.
“Judges were especially impressed by Cllr Bettison, describing him as ‘an inspiration across the local government sector’ because of the sheer scope and diversity of his achievements.”
Cllr Bettison has worked full-time as a councillor since he retired nearly 10 years ago and also sits on Sandhurst Town Council and other committees.
He said: “It’s lovely that so many people have recognised what I’ve done. I still enjoy what I do and the busier I am the more I like it.”