Somerset's great and good recognised in Queen's New Year Honours List

Yeovil Express: Lee Howell, recipient of the Queen's Fire Service Medal. Lee Howell, recipient of the Queen's Fire Service Medal.

A CHIEF fire officer who has seen his firefighters embroiled in strike action was given some cheer when he was recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

Lee Howell, head of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, receives the Queen's Fire Service Medal for services to the emergency services.

Firefighters across the country are staging a series of lightning strikes in protest at the Government's proposed changes to working practices and pensions.

Denise Sage, from Minehead, is rewarded for her efforts at the visitors' centre in Porlock with the British Empire Medal.

The same accolade goes to Lucy Warfield, of Ilminster, for services to the community in Beercrocombe.

And a BEM is also awarded to Anne Bennett, from Martock, chairman of the League of Friends at Yeovil Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, for voluntary and charitable services in Somerset.

The Queen's representative in Somerset - the Lord Lieutenant Lady Gass - is given the Royal Victorian Order.

David Gibbings, from Yeovil, becomes an MBE in recognition of his work in the engineering team at helicopter builders AgustaWestland.

Avon and Somerset Police chief inspector Steve Kendall has also won the MBE for helping develop policing and law and order in the Republic of Kosovo following an 18-month secondment with the Foreign Office.

Actress Penelope Keith, who starred in the TV series To The Manor Born, which was filmed at Cricket St Thomas, is made a Dame.






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