Congratulations to Liberal Democrats in the New Year honours list

 

We’ve already mentioned Paddy Ashdown’s great honour in the New Year list:

ORDER OF THE COMPANIONS OF HONOUR (CH)
The Rt Hon Jeremy John Durham Baron Ashdown Of Norton-Sub-Hamdon, GCMG, KBE. For public and political service.

Sincere congratulations go to:

CBE – Councillor Erica Kemp. Lord Mayor of Liverpool. For public and political service. (Liverpool, Merseyside)
Erica Kemp (pictured above), this year’s Lord Mayor of Liverpool, has been a city councillor for 21 years. She represents Church Ward. Cllr Kemp attended Woolton Hall Preparatory School and Woolton Hall High School before training to be a teacher at what is now Liverpool Hope University. She is married to leader of Liverpool’s Liberal Democrat party Cllr Richard Kemp.

OBE – Peter Truesdale. Formerly Councillor Lambeth Council. For public and political services. (London)
Peter has been a Lambeth councillor since 1994 and was highlighted as a “Local liberal hero” on Liberal Democrat Voice in May 2012. He comes from the Penines where his father and a cousin were councillors. Thrust into the maelstrom of Lambeth, Peter is a classic Liberal Democrat pavement politician. His “Liberal hero” article described his strong belief that councillors are “there to help people”. He said:

You listen to their needs, you help with their casework and then on a regular basis you put a big piece of paper through their doors about things they are interested in. When doing so, speak in the language of The Sun, not the Daily Telegraph and remember to be political.

MBE – Dr Wendy Barbara Taylor. Councillor Newcastle City Council. For public and political service in the North East. (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear)
A consultant in Clinical Oncology at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle Freeman Hospital, Wendy has been a councillor for Dene Ward, which is in the Newcastle East constituency, since 1988. Councillor Taylor has been an Executive Member of Newcastle City Council since 2004 and currently holds the portfolio for Environment, Sustainability and Transport working successfully on issues such as waste management, climate change, cycling, and public transport & highways.

MBE – Ms Dorothy Ann Weedon. For political service particularly in Maidstone, Kent. (Maidstone, Kent)
In 2013, Dorothy won the Harriet Smith Award for services to Liberalism, presented every year to the member of the party across the entire country to make the greatest contribution to the party over a lifetime. Dorothy has been a key figure in the Maidstone Liberal Association since 1952, the year of the Queen’s Coronation. She was twice chairman of the local branch. Now vice president, she reckons she has delivered a leaflet or knocked on virtually every door in the constituency over five decades. Dorothy has also worked as an administrator in the NHS for 30 years.

MBE – Muhammad Zahur. For services to the Pakistani community in Sheffield.
Muhammad was recognised for his tireless community work, including the establishment of Sheffield’s Pakistani Muslim Centre. The Sheffield Telegraph reports:

Mr Zahur, of Dore in Sheffield, comes from a small village in Pakistan and moved to the UK in 1971. The self-employed chartered accountant has been a magistrate since 1973, a member of the Rotary Club of Hallam and treasurer of Sheffield Red Cross.

During the miners’ strike and closure of the steelworks in the early 1980s, Mr Zahur decided he wanted to help members of the Pakistani community who had been made redundant.

He said: “The strike and closure of the factories and steelworks made a lot of Pakistani people redundant so I joined forces with one or two other people to give them advice, to stop them from losing heart and to assure them there were other things to do.”

Sheffield Council gave them use of an old Victorian school building on Woodbourn Road, Sheffield, and the rest is history. Today the centre remains a focal point Sheffield’s Pakistani population.

MBE – Andrew de Freitas. Former leader of North East Lincolnshire council for services to local government.
Andrew has given 40 years of service to his local community. A Grimsby Telegraph profile in 2013 described him as a “rebel with a cause”:

He was first elected to Grimsby Council in 1969 at the age of 24, winning a seat in the Humber ward, which is today part of the East Marsh seat.

Standing on a pledge to improve the substandard housing stock in the neighbourhood, he took two weeks holiday to knock on every door in the ward.

Andrew served as a councillor in the ward for eight years, before leaving for the Middle East.

In 1981, shortly after his return to Grimsby, he was elected to a seat in the Central ward – later to become the Park ward which he still represents to this day.

When Andrew was first elected onto the council he was one of just two Liberal councillors.

The party’s numbers gradually increased over the years, as it established itself as a serious alternative to the two main parties.

MBE – Dr Jane Williamson. For services to the community, particularly young people in South Cambridgeshire.

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