New ‘Best of Britain’ award launched at Strictly Highways

A new ‘Best of Britain’ award has been introduced as a category in this year’s DfT Special Recognition awards which form part of Strictly Highways 2022.

This new award, which honours the contribution made by Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) founder Will Britain (pictured), will celebrate a team, individual or trainee in the public sector that has gone above and beyond to engage with their local community, improve local services and change local perceptions.

When Will Britain, Head of Highways and Founder of LCRIG retired in May 2022 he said in an interview with LCRIG: “The language that is used around local roads needs to be kept simple. If you are talking to people who are the customers or the residents, then it is about articulating to them what matters. That is things like road condition, drainage, street lighting and all the assets that are on their road. They are real concerns and issues for some people. It is about being proud of their community. ‘It’s not just a network, it’s a social network. I think LCRIG has a knack of keeping language simple and embedding innovation into society that’s going to help local roads thrive – not just in terms of condition – but also the way in which people behave.”

Paula Claytonsmith, Director, Government and Strategy at LCRIG, said: “There are many awards across the industry, but this special award goes to an organisation, person or trainee in the public sector who has strived to put highways at heart of community delivery. Examples might include working with rural groups, volunteer groups, creating greater understanding of what the highways department does, outreach to community area, etc. We look forward to honouring the first recipient of this award at Strictly Highways.”

Paula added “We all know that person (or team) in a local authority, they might not be the most senior, they might even be senior, but you can tell their passion is helping their communities and we’d like to celebrate that. I’m also delighted to be involved in the judging for this particular award alongside Will himself and Graham Pendlebury, CBE, MA (Cantab) – a former Director at the Department for Transport.”

Entries for this year’s DfT Special Recognition awards can now be submitted. Strictly Highways 2022 will take place from 4-0 October at Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the evening of 5 October.

The full award categories are as follows:

Local Transport Hero – sponsored by Map16

This award will celebrate an individual local government officer who has gone the extra mile. This should be someone whose vision, drive and advocacy has had an impact in the use of technology by local authorities.

Best use of technology in the Highways and Transportation sector – sponsored by Yotta

This award will provide recognition to an organisation(s) that can demonstrate the best use of technology within the highways and transportation sector.

Net Zero Project of the Year – sponsored by KaarbonTech

This award will recognise an outstanding innovation project delivered by an organisation/partnership that has demonstrably contributed to accelerating or reducing the cost of decarbonisation. The project will evidence a reduction in environmental impacts, managing embedded carbon within construction and reducing air pollution.

Road User Experience – sponsored by LCRIG

This award will recognise an organisation for a new initiative, development or scheme that has improved efficiency and innovation in road maintenance and management and demonstrates improved safety on the network.

Collaborative Partnership (between council(s) and the supply chain) – sponsored by Wrekin

This award will provide recognition to a collaborative partnership (between councils and the supply chain) working within the highways and transportation sector.

Best of Britain – sponsored by WJ Group

This new award will celebrate a team, individual or trainee in the public sector that has gone above and beyond to engage with their local community, improve local services and change local perceptions.

The judging panel for this year’s awards includes:

  • Matthew Eglinton – Head of Local Highways Maintenance, Innovation, and Resilience, Local Infrastructure, Department for Transport
  • Darren Capes – Intelligent Transport Systems Policy Lead, Department for Transport
  • Dr Annette Pass – Head of Innovation, National Highways
  • Paul Boss – Chief Executive Officer, Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA)

In addition, the judges for this year’s new ‘Best of Britain’ award are as follows:

  • Graham Pendlebury CBE, MA (Cantab), FCIHT, former Director, Local Transport at the Department for Transport, 2013-2019
  • Will Britain, former Head of Highways, Blackpool Council
  • Paula Claytonsmith, Director Government & Strategy, LCRIG

(Picture – LCRIG)

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