One of the leaders at the forefront of Staffordshire’s fight against coronavirus has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.
Dr Richard Harling – Staffordshire County Council’s director for health and care – has received an MBE for services to public health and adult social care.
The award has been announced just 90 minutes before Staffordshire is plunged into Tier 4 – the toughest Covid-19 restrictions.
But it appears Stoke-on-Trent has been snubbed in this year’s list of the great and the good.
Dr Harling said: “I’m delighted to be recognised today, and this is about recognition for everyone at the county council and our public-sector partners who have worked so hard throughout the last nine months to respond to the Covid pandemic.
“This has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, so I’d like to thank colleagues for their continued work and dedication.”
County council leader Alan White said: “It is rewarding to see Staffordshire people recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in the New Year’s Honours, particularly after such a challenging year for everyone.
“We are especially proud that Dr Richard Harling has received an honour for his dedication and service to the people of Staffordshire during what has been the most challenging health crisis in living memory.
“All recipients have demonstrated great commitment, dedication and service to others and today they have received the national recognition they deserve.”
Staffordshire’s Lord-Lieutenant Ian Dudson said: “I would like to send my heartfelt congratulations to all those who have been personally recognised by Her Majesty The Queen.
“Those recognised have made a real difference to their professional or community roles – either over many years or during a more specific period. This has been an extremely difficult year and so it is pleasing to end with some good news with the New Year Honours.”
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In Staffordshire the OBE has been awarded to:
Lee Pardy-McLaughlin, of Hixon, for his services to children and families;
Brian Roberts, of Stafford, finance commissioner, Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for services to local government and to public service finance.
In Staffordshire the MBE has been awarded to:
Major (Retired) Robert Cross, of Rugeley, chairman of the North Midland Branch of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, for services to Gurkha veterans;
Wolverhampton Wanderers and England footballer Ronald Flowers, of Stafford, for services to football;
Darren Teale, of Newcastle, founder of Junction 15 Productions, for services to media and to vulnerable communities in the UK and abroad;
Dr Nigel Tringham, former editor of Victoria County History of Staffordshire, for services to local history.
In Staffordshire a BEM (Medallist of the Order of the British Empire) has been awarded to:
Michael Deakin, of Silverdale, for voluntary services to scouting and to charity in Staffordshire;
Maureen Recine, of Stone, for voluntary services to young people through Girl Guides UK and to charity in Staffordshire.
David Wootton, managing director of Wootton Education, of Crewe, has been awarded the CBE for services to education;
Martin Frobisher, of Sandbach, Group Safety and Engineering Director, Technical Authority, Network Rail, was awarded the OBE for services to the NHS and railway workers during Covid-19 and voluntary services through the Army Reserves;
John Swan, of Congleton, was awarded the BEM for services to wildlife and conservation in Cheshire.