Real Lives: Inspirational leader reaps benefits of his dedication

Andrew Hogarth was praised for his enthusiasm and vision
Andrew Hogarth was praised for his enthusiasm and vision
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A respected council worker known for motivating his team has been presented with a top accolade.

Andrew Hogarth, an area amenity officer who tends county parks and public gardens, was named as East Lothian Council’s “Worker of the Year”.

Mr Hogarth received the prize at the local authority’s Star Awards, held at Haddington’s Knox Academy.

The employee is known as a well-respected team leader who always motivates his team to excel in their work.

Mr Hogarth came out on top after a vote by the public and council employees, with one of those to nominate him saying his “enthusiasm for his county sings out from our borders, parks and open spaces”.

Tributes were paid to Mr Hogarth’s work during the presentation, with attention paid to residents’ comments of how “beautiful” the area’s parks and public gardens looked over the summer despite the poor weather.

He was also praised for his long-term vision as for the summer displays he used herbaceous and perennial plants, hardy annual and wildflower seed mixes, instead of traditional bedding.

Such forms of planting were recognised at the ceremony for their sustainability, and for helping cut energy costs and improve East Lothian Council’s carbon footprint.

North Berwick Community Council, North Berwick in Bloom Committee, and Friends of the Lodge Grounds all joined to congratulate Mr Hogarth on his award.

North Berwick resident Pat Burton said the accolade was “well deserved”.

A loyal school employee who has just celebrated her 40th anniversary at Bathgate Academy has been commended for her decades of dedicated service.

Evelyn Rankin, from the town, joined staff at the school in 1971, just one year after she left as a pupil.

Since then she has been working in an administration role.

A special presentation from headteacher Joe Boyd, and the local authority’s acting head of education, Mary Rankine, was held at the school to mark the occasion.

Mr Boyd said: “On behalf of the whole Bathgate Academy community and West Lothian Council, I’d like to thank Evelyn for over four decades of dedicated service to the school.

“It is so unusual for someone to spend so long in one job these days, and Evelyn’s hard work and vast experience make her a real asset to the school.”

Evelyn is known as a “quiet and conscientious worker” by the countless generations of pupils, teachers and colleagues who have passed through the school’s office, where she is based, during her long career.