Local people recognised in honours list

TWO former chief executives of Suffolk County Council have been honoured in The Queen's official birthday list for their contributions to local government.

Graham Dines

TWO former chief executives of Suffolk County Council have been honoured in The Queen's official birthday list for their contributions to local government.

The higher award of Companion of the Bath goes to Lin Homer, who in 1998 was appointed the first woman chief officer in the county's history, took over in Suffolk after joining from Hertfordshire.

Mrs Homer, who lives in Hadleigh, left County Hall in 2002 to become chief executive of Birmingham city council, Britain's largest local authority.

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Within a couple years, she was headhunted by the Home Office to take charge of the immigration and nationality service and had to deal with the fall out from revelations that foreign prisoners were released from jails and allowed to stay in the UK rather than being deported.

Mike More, who has been awarded the CBE, took charge on Mrs Homer's departure and was at the helm in Suffolk for six years, which coincided with the move of the county council's administrative centre across Ipswich to Endeavour House. He left the post to become chief executive of Westminster City Council earlier this year.

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Marianne Fellowes, of Aldeburgh, has received the MBE for her services to domestic violence in Suffolk. She leads a civilian-based team at Suffolk police headquarters and she has been working on domestic violence issues since 2002.

Mrs Fellowes, who is also a town and district councillor in Aldeburgh, launched the specialist domestic violence court in Ipswich last year. She has raised awareness of the needs of men as victims and this month there was a high profile conference highlighting domestic violence linked to honour and forced marriages.

“I am very pleased and honoured to be recognised in this way but it does also represent the work of everybody in Suffolk across all agencies,” she said.

“The message to victims of domestic violence is that you can seek support and there is support out there for you.”

Eastenders actress June Brown, who was born in Needham Market, receives the MBE. The 81-year-old actress, whose role as busybody Dot Cotton is one of the most enduring on the BBC1 soap, is president of the Michael Elliott Trust, which gives children with special needs the chance to care for abandoned donkeys.

Before finding fame on EastEnders, Brown's career included appearances in Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Angels, and The Duchess of Duke Street.

Among those in Essex receiving awards is Alfred Burden, of Meadgate Avenue, Chelmsford.

Mr Burden, 72, is to be honoured with an MBE for his voluntary service to the Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association.

The Association was formed in 1994 following the reunion of a group of war veterans in Malaysia.

A campaign was started for those who served during the Malayan Emergency, the Borneo and

Indonesian Confrontation and the Japanese Occupation of Malaya and Singapore, to receive a medal in recognition of their services.

He said: “I am very, very pleased and I will accept this honour on behalf of everyone who has received the medal and for those who are still waiting for it.

“I would also like to dedicate the award to my wife without whom none of this would ever have happened.

Another man to be honoured is 64-year-old Raymond Smith, who is set to receive an MBE in recognition of his voluntary service to young people and sports for around the past 25 years.

Mr Smith, of West Mersea, has taught children how to sail and has taken part in several competitions and races.

He currently teaches at Dabchicks Sailing Club and also builds boats part-time. He said: “The honour came as a complete surprise.

“I was quite amazed to hear that I was to be honoured by the Queen, in the way that why should I get an award for doing something that I thoroughly enjoy doing?”

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