West Cumbrian MP leads the local honours
Last updated at 11:15, Monday, 25 June 2012
WEST Cumbrian MP Tony Cunningham is knighted and several high-profile Cumbrians have been awarded gongs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List.
Mr Cunningham, the son of a dock worker, who grew up on a council estate in Salterbeck, has been prominent in Cumbrian politics for 25 years.
The 59-year-old is among a handful of people from the county named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List today.
His knighthood – one of the highest possible civic honours that can be awarded – is for his service to politics and the public. Mr Cunningham, who is “thrilled”, said keeping the news of his accolade secret over the last few weeks had been incredibly difficult.
“It’s not just about me,” he said. “I feel that this is recognition for my family, including my mam Bessie, who brought up six children on a council estate. It’s also for the staff I work with and it’s an honour for the people of West Cumbria.”
Though known in Cumbria primarily as a constituency MP, Mr Cunningham has played a key role in the Labour Party political hierarchy, working as a government whip under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
He became a district councillor in 1987, winning the seat from a Tory predecessor, and rose to become leader of Allerdale Council in 1992. From 1994 to 1999, Mr Cunningham was MEP for Cumbria and North Lancashire, in 1995 penning an influential report on landmines which called for a treaty to instigate an outright ban, now adopted by 150 countries.
Honours also go to business leaders, charity fundraisers and community volunteers, while Cumbria’s Chief Constable Stuart Hyde is given a Queens Police Medal.
Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is awarded an MBE.
Rob said: “I’m delighted. It’s nice to make a difference. The really nice thing about an award like this is that it’s an independent view of what you do – and recognition for all the extra stuff you do, at weekends and in the evenings.”
Rob has played a key role in several key Cumbrian business initiatives, including the Local Enterprise Partnership and flood recovery initiatives.
Also awarded an MBE is Tess Hart, 59, from Newby East, near Carlisle.
Inspired by her late daughter Lauren, who died in 2005 aged 18, she has been a passionate advocate and fundraiser for those living with disability and their carers.
She has supported Carlisle and District Mencap, the local NSPCC, Crossroads Care for carers in Carlisle, and James Rennie School, where her daughter was a pupil.
She recently took on a new challenge, aiming to help raise funds for Carlisle Cathedral Fratery Appeal, which aims to create better disabled access and develop the building as a community resource.
Tess said: “I’m stunned and very, very touched by it.”
MBEs also go to:
Heike Horsburgh, chief executive of Youth Cumbria, a Keswick-based charity devoted to engaging and inspiring children and young people across the county;
John Fox, former artistic director of Welfare State International, a performance collective in Ulverston;
And Jack Stopforth, 53, former chief executive of the Cumbria Inward Investment Agency.
British Empire Medals go to two Cumbrians:
Brave cancer sufferer Alice Pyne, whose “bucket list” of things she wants to do before she dies grabbed national headlines; She is an avid charity fundraiser.
And Alice’s sister Milly Kate Pyne. Fundraiser, Cumbria. (for services to charity);
Mr Hyde said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve been a police officer for 28 years and I have loved every minute.”
After becoming involved in the investigation of disgraced pop star Gary Glitter’s use of computers to access child pornography in 2004, Mr Hyde went on to become one of the country’s leading experts on cyber crime and security.
First published at 13:36, Saturday, 16 June 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Apparently he's a very hard working guy so thoroughly deserves this work to be recognised. But, seriously, does it not make you cringe that we are using these titles in 2012? A knight of the realm? Plus, most of them go to wonderful people like Sir Fred Goodwin who nobody had ever heard of until he ruined millions of peoples lives.
I was at first going to do my usual and criticise MP's but he has done more than most in his role so congratulations,i now hope jamie reed has a marker on what an MP's role is and in say maybe 50-60yrs time he may be considered.
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