New Year's Honours: Former Blackburn Children Board chairman awarded British Empire Medal (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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New Year's Honours: Former Blackburn Children Board chairman awarded British Empire Medal
2:00pm Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
A FORMER chairman of Blackburn With Darwen Safeguarding of Children Board, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.
Laurence Loft, 71, who retired from the role in March, was given the honour for services to children and young people.
The board, which was set up in 2006, appointed Mr Loft as its first chairman after he retired as magistrates’ clerk for East Lancashire.
Mr Loft, of Ryburn Avenue, said: “I’m honoured to have been given it and I’m it’s nice to know that someone thinks’ I’ve made a positive impact.
“I’ve chaired the group for seven years and I’m most proud of introducing the Engaged Team to try and combat sexual exploitation of children in Blackburn With Darwen.”
Blackburn Coun Salim Sidat has received an MBE for services to the community and policing in Blackburn.
Coun Sidat, who represents the Audley area of the town, is also an independent advisor to the police, and has worked hard to improve community cohesion in the town.
A trained football coach, he first became involved with the local community when he gave football training to local children to get them off the streets.
He said: “My father was in the first set of immigrants who came here in the fifties, they gave up a very good lifestyle to come over here, and mixed within society, and I am the result of that. He would have been very proud.”
Barry Payton, co-founder and manager of Haslingden Community Link and Children’s Centre, was awarded an MBE for services to children and families.
Mr Payton, who retired earlier this year at the age of 66, has been involved with the organisation since its beginings in October 1997.
East Lancashire’s chief fire officer Chris Kenny was awarded The Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
Mr Kenny has led on a number of projects including the Regional Control Centre Project and secured government approval for the North West on the Private Finance Initiative project to deliver 16 new fire stations.
He originally joined Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 1978, transferring to Lancashire to take charge of the Service Training Centre at Chorley in 2000.
He said: “I have been fortunate to work with some fantastic people over my 35 years in the Fire and Rescue Service, and this honour recognises their efforts as much as my own.
“There has never been a more challenging time to lead Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service but I remain committed to providing the best service in the country with the decreasing resources at my disposal and the support of my highly professional staff.”
Geoffrey Peter Little, of Haslingden, is deputy chief executive at Manchester City Council and has been awarded an OBE for services to local government while Mark Crabtree, founder and managing director of Burnley-based audio engineering company AMS Neve, who received an OBE.
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