Barrow Voice -
First Publised 1975
3,000 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar

Barrow connections to Charnwood Long Service Awards

Two employees of Charnwood Borough Council, Sandra Laxton and Richard Hives, have been presented with certificates and vouchers, to celebrate the achievement of twenty-five years’ service with the council. The Mayor, Councillor Pauline Ranson, congratulated them on their awards and thanked them for their hard work over the years, saying it was a wonderful achievement and something they should be proud of.

Sandra Laxton moved to Barrow with her parents, Robert and Pearl Parnell, in 1969. She attended Hall Orchard Primary, and Humphrey Perkins High School. Her parents still live in the village but Sandra moved to Quorn in August 2004. Her employment with Charnwood Borough Council began on May 11th 1992, as a part-time receptionist. In 2004, the council brought all of the services together to form a One Stop Customer Service and Sandra was promoted to being a full-time Customer Service Advisor. In 2012, Charnwood agreed to join a partnership to take the calls of a neighbouring council as well. Because of Sandra’s knowledge and experience, she was seconded into the Contract Centre at Charnwood to design, develop and deliver Council Tax and Benefit workflows. This was all new to Sandra so she had to learn new skills relating to process mapping and writing scripts. Her role progressed to creating and delivering Eforms - customer online forms. In 2018, after six years in this role, Sandra returned to her original one of Senior Customer Advisor, assisting customers and staff with changes in the digital age. At the award ceremony it was said that Sandra was a well-respected, valued and much loved member of the team. Sandra commented that the occasion had made her feel really special and how good it was of the council to arrange such a nice event.

Richard Hives was born in Barrow and has lived here all his life. He has two brothers; one still lives in the village but the other one, like his parents, moved away. Richard started working for Charnwood Borough Council on August 24th 1992 as a bricklayer, which is still his trade but now he also does roofing. He is involved with the maintenance of the council’s housing stock. The only really major change that Richard has experienced is that, in the past, job sheets were a pen and paper exercise; now they are all done on a computer. Over the years, Richard has met many characters that have enriched his days. I asked him if he had a funny or unusual story to tell me; he said that years ago they were dispatched to demolish a garage that was in a row of garages. They arrived on the scene, counted along the row and came to one that was leaning badly and was in a generally poor state. They set to and down it came, job done. Later that day a lady drove up to garage her car and, as you have probably guessed, it wasn’t there. Whoops! They had demolished the wrong one! The lady came out of it very well though because she got a new garage, and the right one was eventually pulled down.

During the presentation it was said that Richard has been an integral part of the repairs team and is very popular with the customers and residents. He continues to contribute to a happy work place. Richard in turn said that the council was a good place to work and he still enjoys it. He also said that over the years he had made some very good friends and that is something he will always treasure.

Val Gillings