The great and good of Yorkshire awarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Peter Lawrence, the father of missing Claudia Lawrence.
Peter Lawrence, the father of missing Claudia Lawrence.
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The great and the good of Yorkshire will have their moment in the spotlight as the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours list is revealed.

Professor Chris Husbands, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, has received a knighthood for services to higher education as fellow academics, police officers, charity stalwarts, campaigners and community leaders from across the region are also named as medal-winners.

Chris Husbands.

Chris Husbands.

Peter Lawrence, the father of missing York woman Claudia Lawrence, was awarded an OBE for services to the families of missing persons.

Mr Lawrence’s honour comes after his founding of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Bill which was given royal assent in April 2017.

The bill aims to give the friends and families of missing people greater control over their finances to avoid issues such as debt.

Speaking about his OBE, Mr Lawrence told The Yorkshire Post: “It was a total shock, completely unexpected.”

The 71-year-old said he was “still trying to take it in”.

“I just feel that I’m getting this award on behalf of the charity and all the people there who work so hard.”

The Claudia Lawrence appeal, which seeks information about the chef’s disappearance on March 18, 2009 – is supported by the Missing People charity.

Of his new title, Sir Chris said: “I am extremely humbled to accept this honour.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate: I’ve had a career beyond the imaginings of my parents and grandparents and that’s down to the exceptional people who, at the time, created opportunities for youngsters like me.

“The higher education I experienced changed my life, and, through that, changed the way my children thought about what was possible for them.

“Opportunity echoes through generations just as lack of opportunity does.

“It’s this, the great transformative potential of a university, which is one of the things which shaped me, and continues to drive me.”

In 2016 the Government appointed him as the inaugural chair of the Teaching Excellence Framework, which aims to improve the quality of teaching throughout the sector. He has also advised local and national governments across the world, and has been vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam since January 2016.

Kevin Sharp, clerk to the West Yorkshire Lieutenancy, won a Royal Victorian Order, while Professor John Neil Loughhead, chief scientific adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, gwas given an OBE for services to research and development in the energy sector.

Eight notables with links to Yorkshire received CBEs, 16 were given OBEs, an MBE has been bestowed on 24 people, and 21 more have been honoured with a BEM.

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift, has become Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contribution to local government and the regeneration of Halifax. Coun Swift said: “I was very touched and surprised to be nominated for this honour, which feels like the icing on the cake after the incredible year that we’ve had in Calderdale.”

The councillor of 14 years, who is also the vice-chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, oversaw the transformation of the Grade I listed Piece Hall building, which had a triumphant re-opening on Yorkshire Day 2017.

Senior police and emergency service staff included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Dionne Collins, a previous recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal, received a CBE for services to policing and the British Association of Women in Policing. She joined the force in January 2014 as Deputy Chief Constable.

Her colleague Chief Superintendent Paul Terence Money, Police Commander for the Leeds district, has been given the Queen’s Police Medal title.

Ian Walton, deputy director of operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, received a Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for services to the trust.