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Solihull residents get gongs in New Year's Honours

A TIRELESS volunteer and a Member of the European Parliament are among the Silhillians celebrating their place in the New Year’s Honour’s List.

A TIRELESS volunteer and a Member of the European Parliament are among the Silhillians celebrating their place in the New Year’s Honour’s List.

Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour who has worked in Europe for 13 years, has been awarded the CBE for “services to the UK economy”.

“It was a very nice surprise,” said the 65-year-old, who lives in Manor Road. “The only problem now is that I’m going to have to get my business cards redone.

“Obviously getting to go to the Palace is very special, I was lucky enough to meet the Queen once before when she came to open Touchwood and I still remember it with affection.”

Recently described as “the most influential Tory you’ve never heard of”, Mr Harbour was elected as a MEP after a career in the motor industry.

“I think people worry about Europe, because they don’t think it’s something they can control but during my years as a MEP, I’ve seen the benefits that have been brought to the West Midlands. The single market is something that has made a big difference to businesses.”

While John Barnes, of Solihull Lodge, who has given thousands of hours of his time to organisations like the Lions and scouts, receives the MBE for “services to the community”.

The 73-year-old, who moved to Solihull last summer, has also been involved with charities like Acorns Children’s Hospice and brain injury association Headway.

In 2009, he was named “Volunteer of the Year” for his work at Headway, helping hundreds of people recovering from road crashes and other accidents.

“I’ve enjoyed it all,” said the father-of-four.

“I suppose the work with the lions [Moseley and Kings Heath branch] has been very rewarding - helping causes locally and abroad. And it was nice to see Acorns grow from nothing to become so important locally.”

Also appearing on the list, which was dominated by our Olympic and Paralympic heroes, was the construction industry’s David Bucknall - turn to page 51.

 

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