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The Leader of Basildon Council was confronted by Dale Farm protesters as he attended an awards ceremony last night.
Mr Ball was nominated for the title of Council Leader of the Year in recognition of his role in the eviction of travellers from Dale Farm.
He lost out to Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council in awards held at Westminster City Council by the Local Government Information Unit.
Mr Ball was confronted by Dale Farm protesters as he went to leave the venue.
Essex County Council's David Finch won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Financial Performance.