Sevenoaks District Councillor scoops national award
SEVENOAKS District Councillor Michelle Lowe has won an Award for Health and Care at the LGiU and CCLA Councillor Achievement Awards ceremony. The annual awards ceremony, kindly supported by CCLA, was held on Tuesday evening (6 November) against the backdrop of the Guildhall’s Livery Hall in London. With nearly 200 nominations, competition was extremely tight this year. The winners were selected by a group of judges made up of council leaders and chief executives.
Cllr Lowe, who represents the wards of Otford and Shoreham, impressed judges with her proven track record of helping her community stay healthy with the implementation of her ‘wellbeing starts at home’ and ‘early intervention’ policies.
As Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health, she has also taken the initiative to share her findings with peers in other councils and has built coalitions across Kent, demonstrating the impressive impact that district councils can have on health and care policy.
Speaking at the ceremony in Guildhall, London, Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, said: “It’s fantastic to hear stories of local councillors working selflessly for the community, bringing real benefits to residents. Cllr Michelle Lowe has demonstrated huge talent and dedication. The outstanding quality of the nominations we received this year stands as a testament to the exceptional job many councillors are doing for their community.”
After being presented the award by LGiU Chairman, Michael Payne, Cllr Michelle Lowe adds: “I am truly honoured to take home this award and prove what a difference Districts can make to people’s lives.
“I thank everyone at the Council for their support to help turn my vision into a reality and working as a team to achieve amazing things. It might be my name on the award, but it is our residents who are the real winners.”
Cllr Lowe has also been instrumental in helping Sevenoaks District Council become the most dementia-friendly organisation in Kent and pioneering the ‘Super HEROES’ service, which has assisted over 1,800 clients helping to reduce their debt and rent arrears and supporting them to re-enter training, work and volunteering. This has helped the Council keep levels of homelessness exceptionally low.
The development of the Super HEROES service has meant the Council can provide health advice and support, and help residents plan for their future by addressing both the medical and non-medical issues that hold them back.
It is the second consecutive year a Sevenoaks District Councillor has succeeded at the awards, after Leader, Cllr Peter Fleming took the Leader of the Year category at the ceremony last year.
Cllr Lowe was first elected as a District Councillor in 2007 to represent Otford and Shoreham. In 2013, she became Deputy Leader of the Council and a Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety before her portfolio changed to Housing and Health in 2015.