Council Assistant Cements his Reputation with Top Award

Published: 29th September 2022

James Matthew
CEMENTING HIS REPUTATION - James Matthew, apprentice building control surveyor at Ribble Valley Borough Council, has been named Newcomer of the Year at the North West Building Excellence Awards.

A council assistant is laying the foundations of a successful career in building control after winning a top award.

James Matthew, 25, assistant building control surveyor at Ribble Valley Borough Council, is cementing his reputation after being named Newcomer of the Year at the North West Building Excellence Awards, the ‘Oscars’ of the building sector.

James attended Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe and trained as a design engineer at Ultraframe, before joining Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Covid Community Hub, where he established himself as a standout employee during a time of unprecedented difficulty.

He then beat off stiff competition to become the council’s trainee building control surveyor, since which, as well as the day-to-day duties of plan-checking and site inspections, he is helping to modernise the council’s building control section and is in the final year of a day-release degree in building surveying at Salford University.

Andrew Dent, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of environmental health, said: “James has modernised our working methods and maximised our use of technology, developing a site inspection app, which we now use to record information and upload photos to site records.

“He has also updated our filing system, established an online application process and set up a One Drive system, so we can become a paperless office.

“James has a forensic eye and has correctly made a couple of major calls on building sites recently. He is enthusiastic and intelligent, and his contribution to our building control team has been outstanding.”

James was nominated for the accolade by colleagues in the council’s award-winning building control team.

The team supports you at every stage of development, starting with free building control advice, and ensures your project complies with building regulations, by checking all aspects of construction, accessibility and fire safety, and protects you from cowboy builders and unsafe practices, with regular site visits.

Several projects overseen by the team over the years have gone on to receive accolades in the North West Building Excellence Awards, including commendations in the Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home, Best Individual New Home and Best New Housing Development categories.

James now goes forward to the Newcomer of the Year category at the National Building Excellence Awards in London next January.