Wandsworth produces a weekly bulletin of roadworks in the borough which gets circulated and distributed to various people. Each week I look at it, mainly to see if there’s anything major happening in my ward. But it never occurred to me to think much about the senior engineer who produced it.

I found out a bit more a few weeks ago when he added a short postscript to the email he sends out, announcing that after 30 years of service in Wandsworth he was retiring. Which set me thinking about all the other council officers with lengthy periods of service.

I’ve known and know several who measure their time with the borough in decades rather than months or years, many of the very senior having joined the council after school or university and then worked their way up the ranks.

It was an interesting coincidence, then, to notice that council has been looking at how we recognise them and produced a report for a council committee tonight on how many staff fall into that category.

To give the bald figures:

  • The council directly employs 3,796 staff.
  • Of those 212 (5.6%) have more than 30 years service.
  • 67 have worked here for more than 35 years.
  • 12 have been here for more than 40 years.

I can’t think of anywhere I have worked that could come anywhere close to that level of commitment and service from employees. I think it says a lot about the council that people stay so long, especially since it’s now so common for people to routinely switch employers.

But most of all I think it says a lot about the staff who have stayed in service to the council and the borough for all that time. They deserve all the recognition and thanks they get.

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