Communities in Scarborough and across North Yorkshire are set to be championed and honoured by the County Council’s new chairman, Cllr David Jeffels.
He has become only the fourth Scarborough representative at County Hall to hold the office and is one of the longest-serving senior councillors having been in local government for 42 years.
In his inaugural address to the County Council last week, Cllr Jeffels, who lives at West Ayton and represents the Seamer and Derwent Valley Division, paid tribute to the work of “unsung heroes” - the many volunteers who work in partnership with the county council to deliver the services that communities want, despite the authority’s “shrinking budgets”.
He announced a new annual community awards scheme to recognise and celebrate voluntary work carried out by North Yorkshire residents and organisations.
The awards, he said would showcase exceptional contribution to the county in four different categories best community project, best community group, volunteer of the year and young people volunteering award.
Cllr Jeffels said: “Community organisations and individual volunteers make a huge contribution to lives across North Yorkshire, aiding the council in delivering critical services, and providing social networks which reduce isolation and enable people to live independently for longer.
“The council has been resolute in its aspirations to continue to provide the best possible services despite shrinking budgets. We have seen this already in the changes in responsibilities in the running of our libraries and youth clubs - changes which have come about thanks to the support of our communities and volunteers. Out of the challenges we have seen, and I am sure we will continue to see, unsung heroes have emerged in our communities who are helping those around them. These awards will recognised the great value of the voluntary work those people put into the lives of those in this county.”