Volunteers join former council leader in New Year’s Honours List

The former leader of North Yorkshire County Council, community volunteers and business leaders are among those honoured in the district in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

Thursday, 31st December 2015, 9:18 am

The recipients include John Weighell, who stepped down as leader of the County Council in May and is made an OBE.


Professor Susan Ann Price, lateley Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Beckett University. For services to Higher Education. (Wetherby)

15th January 2013 Acting Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police Tim Madgwick


Coun John Weighell, lateley leader, North Yorkshire County Council, for services to local government. (Bedale)

Coun Weighell, who represents the Bedale division, was Leader of the Conservative Group and Leader of the Council for almost 14 years until he stepped down in May.

He said: “It’s humbling to have this honour bestowed on me, but I hope what the honour really recognises is the success story of North Yorkshire. I have done my best to contribute to this over the years, but it is really the story of the efforts of many people, my council colleagues, officers and the people of North Yorkshire.

John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council.

“I tried to run my leadership in a different, quiet way. I have met far too many leaders who consider themselves to be the boss, even some who consider themselves to be dictators. It is not like that at all. It is about being captain of a team. You don’t necessarily need to be the best player, leadership is about surrounding yourself with the best people.”

Coun Weighell has described the role of council leader as one of the best jobs in local government.

His experience as a school governor and a volunteer in youth work and his respect for the local education authority steered John, a partner in a family farming business, towards becoming a county councillor in 1993. He was elected leader in 2001 and led the authority as it championed the cause of both young and old. High standards in education, opportunities for young people and the care of vulnerable children were priorities, alongside innovation in care of the elderly.


Paul Anthony Chubb, lateley executive director, Careers England and Chair of Governors, the Dales School, for services to Career, Education and Guidance. (Northallerton)

David John Davies, Chairman, Regional Employer Engagement Group. For voluntary service to Reserve Forces and Cadets in Yorkshire and the Humber. (Harrogate)

For more than 14 years Mr Davies has freely given up his time and energy in support of Reservists and Adult Cadet Instructors in Yorkshire and Humberside. As volunteer Chairman of the Regional Employer Support Group his advice to the military chains of command has been invaluable.

Mr Davies said: “It was a wonderful surprise to be told that I had been put forward for an honour based on my work with the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) in the Yorkshire and Humber Region.

“My contribution is focused on ‘employer engagement’, building relationships with employers and helping them to understand the very positive benefit of any military service on a job application.

Clare Elizabeth Harrigan, Chair of the Board of Governors, Leeds College of Building. For services to Further Education and the Construction Industry. (Wetherby)

Ms Harrigan specialises in affordable housing development and delivery.

Since joining Leeds College of Building in November 2011 as Head of Construction, she has overseen the development of Phase 1 of the award winning Derwenthorpe development, and is currently working with David Wilson Homes on the completion of the next three phases. In 2000 she joined the Board of Leeds College of Building as a Governor, becoming Vice Chair in 2006 and Chair in 2010.

Ms Harrigan said: “It has been a privilege to participate in the work of Leeds College of Building and to make a contribution to students wishing to learn and gain qualifications to join the construction industry. ”

Priscilla Anne Kealy, for services to the community in Ripon. (Ripon)

Mrs Kealy has given outstanding service to the almshouse residents, historic chapels of Ripon and as a magistrate. She has served for the past 10 years as a clerk and trustee to the hospitals Almshouses and Chapels Trusts, entirely on a voluntary basis. In recent years she has taken over key responsibilities in the running of the Hospital and Chapels Trust, overseeing three sets of 19th century Almshouses, accommodating 17 elderly residents, together with two Chapels.

She is well know in Ripon and in her village community where she has served as Church Warden to North Stainley Church for over 40 years. She also works on the committee of the local Red Cross and is a contributor to Yoredale News.

She has been on the Governing Body of North Stainley School in serving as foundation governor and chairman for over 12 years.

She was appointed to the Trusts as a Magistrate on the Ripon Bench and the Family Panel until her retirement in 2012, having served as a magistrate for 33 years. She has also raised money for the Leprosy Relief Association.

Mrs Kealy said: “I feel very humbled and a lot of people deserve it more than me. It’s a great privilege but I am sure there are lots of fantastic people who do more.”

Paul Yeomaans Hamey, Head of Expxosure Branch, Chemicals Regulation Directorate, Health and Safety Executive, for services to the Regulation of Pesticides.(Great Ouseburn, York)

Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished service

Tim Madgwick, Deputy Chief Constable, North Yorkshire Police


Mary Elizabeth Maureen Brewer, Volunteer, Neighbourhood Watch. For services to Crime Prevention.(Wetherby)

Shortly after moving to Wetherby in 1985, West Yorkshire Police (WYP) Mrs Brewer set up Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) and she was the first to be registered. About the same time she was invited to join the Crime Prevention Panel (CPP) (she has chaired this for the past 25 years) and also became a police volunteer.

She is currently the WYP representative on the National Neighbourhood Watch Committee (NNHWC) and attends the six weekly national meeting, following which she arranges and chairs the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional meeting.

Fund raising has been one of her principal responsibilities. As a Police Volunteer she has assisted at her local police station in Wetherby, undertaking many varied tasks.

Mrs Brewer said: ”I feel very proud and honoured to be able to accept this award. Through both Neighbourhood Watch and Crime Prevention work I have met many interesting and hard working people and would like to thank them all for all the support I have received over the years.

“I certainly could not have carried out so much without the long term patience from my husband Ken.

Margaret Dawson, for services to the Hambleton District Show and to charity. (Boroughbridge)

For over 20 years Miss Dawson has devoted many hours of her spare time organising the Hambledon District Show.

The show started off as a small local show but each year it increased in size and now it has become one of the largest horse shows in the country, with over 180 classes, showing in 12 rings. She oversees every aspect of the show from the organising of the judges to the refreshments and the volunteers to processing all the overseas entries. She also organises the large raffle which raises in excess of £4,000 each year. Over £90,000 has been raised over the past 20 years; with substantional donations being given to various local and national charities such as Yorkshire Cancer and British Heart Foundation.

Miss Dawson said this week: “I didn’t believe it, I thought someone was pulling my leg! I had to read it twice! But I am absolutely delighted, it was a great Christmas present.”