Preston Council staff clock up 125 years’ service for authority

Phil Balshaw with Mayor of Preston Margaret McManus receiving his long service award
Phil Balshaw with Mayor of Preston Margaret McManus receiving his long service award
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Four dedicated workers at Preston Council have clocked up 125 years’ service for the authority.

Special awards have been given to Julie Brereton, Candice Lancaster and Debbie Boyle, who have each worked for the council for 25 years.

Julie Brereton, Debbie Boyle and Candice Lancaster, who were given long service awards by  Mayor of Preston Margaret McManus

Julie Brereton, Debbie Boyle and Candice Lancaster, who were given long service awards by Mayor of Preston Margaret McManus

Tractor driver Phil Balshaw was also honoured with a long-service award, after working for the council for the last 50 years.

Phil, who began work when he was 15 and has been driving a tractor since he was 18, said he loved his job and had no plans to retire.

The 65-year-old, who has taken part in three Guilds, said: “I pulled Wallace and Gromit in the tractor in the last one – it was great being able to participate in that.

“I’ve no plans to retire, I’m still fit and healthy and I like my job.”

Phil, who drove one of the first ride-on mowers, cuts the main areas of grass in Preston’s major parks, and says he enjoys being outside.

Julie Brereton had worked for the council as a clerk within the revenues department, later becoming a housing benefits clerk and a customer service advisor. Colleagues say she is “always patient” and “displays empathy at all times”.

Candice Lancaster joined the council at 17 as a clerk, before transferring to the fraud team – even having to apply for a job in a brothel as part of an investigation. She is now business support manager.

Debbie Boyle is a business improvement project officer, and has worked in sections including revenues and benefits and the contact centre.

Mayor of Preston Coun Margaret McManus said: “Every one of them was happy to be at Preston Council and they are an amazing set of people. I was very proud to give them the awards.”