Lancashire has some new knights of the realm after two of the county's MPs were honoured in the New Year’s Honours List.
Chorley Labour MP and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle and Preston Labour MP Mark Hendrick will both be made Sirs for their “parliamentary and political service.”
City MP and former Central Lancashire Euro MP Mark Hendrick has represented Preston at Westminster since a by-election in November 2000 and campaigned for the town to get city status.
The 59-year-old, who was first an MEP from 1994 to 1999, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. To get this award really is an accolade but it’s hard to believe. I would like to dedicate it to the people of Preston, wthout them I wouldn’t have served in the European Parliament and I wouldn’t have been in the Commons.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute representing the people of Preston.”
He added: “I will celebrate with my wife and have a nice meal and a few drinks and let it all sink in. I don’t think I’ll really believe it until I’m at the Palace!”
He plans to take his wife Yannan and parents Brian and Jennifer to that Royal date.
Meanwhile Mr Hoyle acknowledged that his knighthood has comes at a difficult time as his daughter Natalie Lewis-Hoyle died shortly before Christmas.
He said: “It’s very pleasing to be honoured for the parliamentary work and representing Chorley for such a long period. It’s nice to be rewarded but obviously it comes at a very sad time following the tragic death of my daughter Natalie.”
He continued: “The sadness is that Natalie isn’t going to be at the Palace. Both my daughters were going to go with me.”
He said he had not told Natalie, who died suddenly on December 15 at her Essex home, about the honour, but had been saving the news until she came to visit over Christmas.
Mr Hoyle, 60, added he believed the honour was not so much for him as for Chorley, which he has represented in Parliament since 1997, his family and office team: “This is recognition for Chorley and the electorate’s trust. It means a lot for Chorley.”
As for his new title, he pledged: “I’ll still be Lindsay.”
Christopher Brown, former chairman of Governors at Sir Tom Finney Community High School and a key figure in education in Preston, is awarded the MBE for services to Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Highflying academic from UCLan Dr Melinda Tan was also awarded the MBE.
The 48-year-old from Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, was Rector of UCLan’s Cyprus branch campus and will receive her award for “services to British higher education overseas and the promotion of bi-communal relations in Cyprus. ”
Her citation notes: “She is a true ambassador of British education overseas. She has been transformational as Rector in Cyprus.”
She was praised for “providing visionary academic leadership and actively championing cultural integration in a racially segregated environment.”
Dr Tan ensured the Cyprus campus received its own academic licence to operate as a university and in three and a half years of leadership saw student numbers grow five-fold to around 1,000 students from 39 countries.
The tribute to her concluded: “She has created a community which embodies the British value of mutual respect and tolerance.”
A delighted Dr Tan, who concluded her secondment to Cyprus in July and has been on the UCLan staff since 2004, said: “It’s obviously an honour and it’s a surprise and I am appreciative and thankful to UCLan for giving me the opportunity to go to Cyprus. For me personally it’s great - but life goes on as normal.”
Dr Tan, who is now Faculty Director of International Business Development in the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries said the honour was important for both UCLan and British higher education: “It demonstrates an international strategy overseas actually does work in terms of building good relations and flying the flag for British education abroad.”
The British values she promoted were she said: “about equality and diversity and showing there is access to education no matter what the background. It’s also very much about ensuring that everyone has a right to education despite politics or whether they are a minority.”
Dr Tan said she would be celebrating with a Sunday roast with her partner and his daughter on New Year’s Eve.
Fylde Council leader Coun Sue Fazackerley, 69, was awarded the MBE for services to the community in Lytham and St Annes. She was praised for her work helping in the weekly beach clean and the renovation of St Anne’s Square, as well as her key role in organising the Annual War Weekend and helping to start the Lytham Proms.
Also notable was her long term commitment to charities supported for more than 50 years. She has been a member of Fylde Borough Council for 30 years and is a member of the Lancashire County Tourism Forum.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Daniel, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, becomes a Dame for services to Healthcare.
Others elevated included:
OBE: Pamela Birch, of Lytham St Annes, Executive Principal of Hambleton Primary Academy and Deputy Chief Executive of Fylde Coast Academy Trust for services to education; Peter Mark (Marc) Almond Musician, singer songwriter and campaigner of Southport ; for services to arts and culture; Harry Johnston of Clitheroe for services to charity and the community in Manchester;
MBE: Carol Holt of Clitheroe, Flood Incident manager, Environment Agency, for services to Flood Risk Management and the Environment ; Alison Jayne Watson.of Clitheroe ,Chief executive officer, Class of Your Own, for services to Education; M Susan Mary Fazackerley, MBE for services to the community in Lytham St. Annes.
CBE: Alan Scott, the Deputy Director North West Prisons, a former governor of Preston and Wymott prisons, for services to HM Prison and Probation Service and to the community in the north west.
BEM: Anita Itallina Castellina of Thornton Cleveleys for services to the community.in Cannock.