Fylde coast throws a six on gongs list

Catherine Powell has been given an MBE for her services to the community in Lytham.
Catherine Powell has been given an MBE for her services to the community in Lytham.
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DEDICATED community campaigners and volunteers are today celebrating as the Fylde coast scooped a clutch of gongs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

A total of six deserving people who either live or work on the coast are to be recognised by her Royal Highness at Buckingham palace for their efforts later this year.

Wyre councillor Barry Birch, of Poulton, was one of the chosen few. He said he was delighted at the commendation.

He said: “The work has been rewarding, challenging and frustrating at times, but the experiences I have had are immeasurable.

“I have worked alongside so many dedicated volunteers over the years who have never failed to amaze me with their attention to detail and total commitment to our local communities. We are very lucky to have such people.

“Time is very precious to us all and I could not have committed so much time and effort to my various roles without the full support and understanding of my wife and family, whom I would like to thank publicly.”

The massive honour reflects a lengthy and diverse public career covering everything from special police officer and scout leader to magistrate, Rotarian and independent prison monitor at Kirkham Prison.

Community stalwart Catherine Powell was also recognised for her services to the community in Lytham.

Her successful campaign to keep Walton Street Post Office open cemented her popularity in the town.

She said: “It is dead exciting. I can’t believe it.

“When I saw the envelope on the doormat I thought it was a tax return but when I opened it I was in shock.

“I called my husband straight away and told him to come home early!”

As well as securing the local post office’s survival Cath, of Warton Street, Lytham, is an integral member of Park View 4 U. She has raised more than £1.5m which enabled a new play area to be built in Lytham.

Work on a new community centre – also funded by the group – is expected to begin next week.

Other public figures recognised in this year’s list were Linda Beddows for services in the community in Lytham and St Annes; Philip Benyon, for his work as a IT programme manager in the cross government solutions group at the Department of Work and Pensions; Amanda Hudson for her services to the community in Fleetwood and Thornton sportswoman Ann Irvin .