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FDC up for another award for Operation Pheasant

Fenland District Council is in the running for another national award for the key part it has played in the ongoing success of Operation Pheasant.

LGC Awards 2015 logo

It has been shortlisted in the "Partnership of the Year" category of this year's Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

Last year the council's leading role in the multi-agency project won it two trophies in the MJ Awards, organised by the Municipal Journal.

Operation Pheasant continues to make big strides in tackling the complex issues of migrant exploitation, illegal gangmasters and poor conditions in private rented housing, particularly in Wisbech.

The co-ordinated action, which is spearheaded by Cambridgeshire police, also involves HM Revenue and Customs, the Gangmaster Licensing Authority, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue and Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

Last month the council welcomed the jail sentences handed down to two Latvian gangmasters who were exploiting vulnerable migrant workers. Through evidence gathered through Operation Pheasant and Operation Endeavour, Ivars Mezals and Juris Valujevs were convicted for their work that left many people in abject poverty and living in constant fear, with seemingly no way out of their situation.

Councillor John Clark, FDC's Leader, said: "It is very good news that the partnership work through Operation Pheasant continues to build on its success, and is recognised for the positive outcomes that it delivers. The shortlisting is also a fitting reward and recognition for all the hard work and commitment of our officers. The joined-up work and excellent communication across all the agencies involved in tackling exploitation and rogue landlords has made a real difference to many people's lives."

Paul Medd, FDC's chief executive, said "It is fantastic to be shortlisted for this award, especially when the judges have received many highly competitive entries from councils up and down the country. It shows that the council continues to enjoy great success in tackling the most important issues in Fenland, working with partners to make the best possible use of public sector resources."

The LGC's "Partnership of the Year" award is designed to recognise partnerships that have undertaken innovative and sustainable work to successfully address local challenges.
Those shortlisted will be making presentations to the panel of judges later this month [January]. Fenland's will be a joint presentation by the council and the police. The winners are due to be announced at an awards ceremony in London on March 11.