Great and the good named in the New Year Honours List

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A CIVIC leader, the founder of a Ugandan charity and an influential doctor are among those in the region recognised in the New Year Honours List.

John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, has been made an MBE for services to local government in Suffolk.

Mr Griffiths, 57, of Ixworth, was first elected as a borough councillor for Ixworth in 1997.

He is managing director of financial services company Lynton Bardwell Ltd and residential property company CLBES Ltd.

Cllr Griffiths said: “I’m delighted and it’s a tribute to my colleagues, fellow councillors and staff at St Edmundsbury who all work very hard to make life better for people.”

Hannah Small, who was born in Bury St Edmunds, has become an MBE for her services to education in Uganda.

The former King Edward VI School pupil set up Soft Power Education in the town of Jinja 10 years ago.

The charity and non-governmental organisation has helped to refurbish about 50 schools with features including new classrooms and water catchment tanks.

It has also built and funds two pre-school nurseries for local children.

The 43-year-old is currently in Uganda and the charity’s headquarters are in Guildhall Street, Bury.

Trustee Margaret McAlpine said: “She has worked unremittingly and thoroughly deserves the recognition.”

Local GP Richard West is celebrating after being made an MBE for services to healthcare.

Dr West, 41, has been a partner at Woolpit Health Centre for more than 13 years.

His past credentials include chairman of the registrars committee of the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee and chairman of the Suffolk Local Medical Committee.

As a chairman of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association, he spoke out against Government plans which would have reduced the number of doctors able to dispense drugs for their patients.

Dr West said: “It’s one of those things you never expect. It’s great that someone was kind enough to nominate me.

“The patients make the job worthwhile. You meet a wonderful group of people and a total cross section of the community.”

Meanwhile, Ann Tate, of Rattlesden, who was vice-chancellor of the University of Northampton, has been recognised for her services to higher education with a CBE.

Mrs Tate, 61, retired to the village with her husband Rodney in September after eight years in the post at the university.

She also worked at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland for about 26 years and spent the last seven years there as pro-vice chancellor.

Mrs Tate said: “I’m really delighted and it feels like a big honour, not just for me but for the university.

“It’s a tribute really to everyone at the university.”

An OBE went to Alexander Wright MacCormick, of Bury St Edmunds, who works for the Ministry of Defence.

They join hundreds of people across the country whose achievements were recognised in the annual list.

Among the celebrity names were musician and Aids campaigner Annie Lennox, actress Sheila Hancock and Poirot actor David Suchet.

Football referee Howard Webb, who took charge of this year’s World Cup final in South Africa, was also honoured.