CHESTER MP Christine Russell is encouraging people to put forward the names of unsung heroes after a dearth of recipients from West Cheshire in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
The only resident of the area to receive an award was Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s chief executive Steve Maddox, who lives in Chester, who was awarded the OBE for Services to Local Government.
Ms Russell said: “I just think that in Chester and the surrounding area there are so many unsung heroes.
“We have dynamic, vibrant communities with an active voluntary sector and I would just call on local community groups and voluntary organisations to put forward the names of exceptional people whose contribution brings significant improvements to the well-being and quality of the lives of people in the community.”
Ms Russell said MPs could no longer directly nominate people but her office was willing to help with advice and information on how to put people forward for an award.
She said it was no longer the case that people received awards just for doing their job.
Ms Russell said she had always felt the lollipop lady, who has helped children – including her own – cross Bouverie Street over many years, ought to be recognised because “she does a lot more than that”.
“She runs the Beavers and the Scouts,” added Ms Russell, who explained that the system was no longer about “who you know” because the awards were determined by independent committees.
Bob Clough-Parker, chairman of Chester Business Club, has noticed the lack of recipients from this area in recent years.
“I went through the list in The Daily Telegraph very closely and was surprised that we did not appear to have anyone from West Cheshire and Chester in particular.
“I can remember a time when I would pick up The Chron and look at the New Year Honours list or the Birthday Honours and I would know people who had got an award.”
Mr Clough-Parker said the kind of people who ought to be recognised were “Old Gladys down the road who has done a lot of work for the WI over a number of years” or “a local businessman who has not only built up a successful business but has gone out of his way to raise funds for children’s charities”.
OBE recipient Steve Maddox, of Fairfield Road, Chester, joined Wirral Council as a trainee solicitor in 1974 and became chief executive in 1998.
He said: “I am obviously delighted and honoured, but I’m also proud that local government and Wirral in particular, has been recognised in this way.”
Also honoured was Alan James Walker, finance director of Jaguar Cars, from Sealand, near Chester, who received an OBE for Services to the Automotive Industry and to Disadvantaged People in Merseyside.
Eric Sawyer, from Northwich, received an MBE for Services to the RAF Association in Cheshire.
Isobel Sykes, from Nantwich, a retained crew manager with Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, was recognised with an MBE for Services to Local Government.
For more information about the UK Honours system and to download a nomination form go to: www.honours.gov.uk