Lower Red Lion landlord David Worcester has spoken out in praise of Liberal Democrat councillor Mandy McNeil following her work for hospitality businesses and the community over the past 20 months.
David was speaking at the St Albans Food and Drink Festival Awards, where three ‘community heroes’ were awarded the Kate D’Arcy Award for exceptional customer service.
During his speech, David said: “Within 24 hours of the UK being locked down, one person was in action, getting businesses up online and promoted immediately.
“She fought for permission from the council and national governmental agencies for St Albans to be able to have a market during a global pandemic when most markets in the country were shut down.
“[Mandy] did the same to support charter market traders and hospitality businesses who could not open or reopen, together with us, the pubs, hotels and retail.
“More importantly, she brought together over 140 businesses including market traders from around the district. Together, we have been feeding the homeless, providing extra meals for schools, and supporting each other as well as we possibly can.”
David also mentioned how Mandy was available at all hours to answer questions from business owners, including on Christmas Day.
Mandy, also vice-chair of the council’s business and regeneration committee, said in reply: “It’s been a hell of a year – or 18 months – for all of us. A lot of my other fellow councillors and lots of businesses have watched and felt people's hearts get ripped out as they watched their businesses close.
“But it’s been a real honour for me to serve all of those who serve our community.”
Watch the full speech here.