(CMR) A familiar face is heading up the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), the Ministry of Health announced today.
Newly confirmed DEH Director Richard Simms, whose appointment took effect on 1 June, has been serving in the role since he was seconded to the agency last summer from his previous position as Director of the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour, says he is pleased that the key leadership position will be permanently filled by someone known to the team and already conversant with Government’s policy direction for the department.
“Our objective is to provide an international standard of waste and sanitation services to the people of the Cayman Islands. Mr Simms has already demonstrated an ability to deliver results and we are happy to have him on board”
the Minister remarks.
Asked what achievements he is most proud of over the last several months at DEH, Mr Simms cites the significant reduction in the Department’s overtime spending by 80 percent over 2017 levels.
He is also happy he says that he has been able to keep garbage collection on schedule, and was also pleased with the results of a memorandum of understanding, signed with Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prisons Service, that allowed prisoners to assist with garbage collection.
As he transitions into the permanent position his personal goals will be to continue to strengthen services across all areas of DEH, and, as part of this to increase staff and improve equipment.
The Department is responsible for the collection and disposal of solid waste and as such manages landfills across all three Cayman Islands. Around half of the department’s approximately 140 employees work for the solid waste section.
Other duties assessing the compliance with the Public Health Law of some 400 premises; maintaining and landscaping beaches and cemeteries; providing analytical and microbiology laboratory services to test water, air and industrial discharge; food hygiene surveillance.
Observing that the Department of Environmental Health provides one of the most high profile essential services in the Cayman Islands public sector Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn comments; “The past 11 months have seen a strongly positive trend in how the department delivers its services and the morale of its employees. Mr Simms has very much the kind of positive leadership style that will be essential to the success of department and projects going forward.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson also offered congratulations to Mr Simms and said he was delighted to see another capable Caymanian being promoted in the Civil Service.
Mr Simms was previously confirmed as Director of the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services on 1 January 2015. The former long-serving police officer was originally seconded to that role from the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing, where he spent several years as Deputy Director.