14 November 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork County Council picked up two accolades at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government 2015 Awards ceremony in Dublin (Thursday 12th November 2015)
The Sustainable Environment Award went to Cork County Hall Campus Beyond 2020 and the Outstanding Customer Service went to Your Good Self: Cork’s Positive Self Help Programme. CCC was shortlisted in six categories.
The Excellence in Local Government Awards showcase best practice in local government and highlight some of the great projects that local authorities are undertaking. The Awards are judged by a panel of expert judges working in the field of Local Government and have been taking place since 2004.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Mr Tim Lucey, said
“we are absolutely delighted for the team of people who worked with us in delivering these initiatives. The Sustainable Environment award promotes energy efficiencies in a sustainable way that is delivering significant economic benefits while Outstanding Customer Service award recognises how our Library service reaches out to the wider community.”
Cllr Joe Carroll, Deputy Mayor of County Cork congratulated the award winners and the other four projects that were shortlisted.
“These awards recognise the huge effort by everyone involved. I am delighted that Your Good Self, because the award highlights the importance of bibliotherapy to good mental health and will raise awareness of the programme, not only among mental health professionals but among the general public.”
Cork County Hall Campus Beyond 2020 developed as part of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) which challenged the public sector to reach verifiable energy-efficiency savings of 33% by 2020. CCC buildings use energy primarily for heating, cooling, computer equipment, air conditioning equipment and lighting. The principal objective was a 33% energy reduction compared to a baseline year of 2009. This was achieved through a combination of energy saving projects, technology improvements and building user participation.
County Hall accounts for 19% of the total energy usage and thus was the subject of a targeted campaign of energy reduction culminating in a 34% energy reduction being achieved in December 2014 (based on a 2009 baseline year), 5 years ahead of the 2020 target of 33% (NEEAP 2012). These projects were largely self-financing in that as continual savings were being realized more capital was then available to fund further projects.
The bibliotherapy programme, called Your Good Self was piloted in Mallow and Bandon Libraries. This was a joint initiative between Cork County Library and HSE psychology services ‘Bibliotherapy’ is the term given to obtaining information and techniques from books to enhance our mental emotional and relationship health.
Because Your Good Self was so successful, it was agreed with the HSE services to broaden the programme that to Mitchelstown, Ballincollig, Youghal, Skibbereen, Bantry and to extend the partnership to include the City Library branches. This was launched on World Mental Health Day, October 10th in Cork County Library Headquarters, by Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State.