Fleetwood born Government mogul awarded CBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

A top civil servant who grew up in Fleetwood has been awarded a CBE for public service in her role as a boss at the Department of Health and Social Care.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:40 am

Emma Reed, 48, grew up in Fleetwood and Cleveleys as a child and attended Greenlands High School for Girls in Bispham, before studying politics at Liverpool University.

She began her career in the civil service after graduation, working in Liverpool and Manchester before moving to London 15 years ago to work on various policies.

Emma went on to take the reins in key campaigns in Government, including the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2014, and the introduction of the Government's soft drinks industry levy, or "sugar tax," in a bid to tackle rising problems with childhood obesity in 2016.

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Emma Reed, born in Fleetwood but now living in London, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her service to public health during the Covid pandemic. Photo: Emma Reed
Emma Reed, born in Fleetwood but now living in London, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her service to public health during the Covid pandemic. Photo: Emma Reed

When it was implemented two years later, the sugar tax had already resulted in over 50 per cent of manufacturers reducing the sugar content of drinks - the equivalent of 45 million kg of sugar every year.

Ms Reed described her work on the legalisation of same-sex marriage as one of the "biggest highlights of [her] career."

Last week, she was awarded a CBE, the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, for public service - particularly during the pandemic - in her role as director of Emergency Preparedness and Health Protection at the Department of Health and Social Care

Emma said: "For the last three years I've been the head of crisis management and emergency response at the Department of Health, so that's included working on things like the Novichok Salisbury incident, and other crises or emergencies happening since then.

"The last 18 months I've been majoring on the incident response of the Covid pandemic, and led the work on the repatriation of British nationals overseas.

"I consider myself a proud Sandgrownun, and I think the award has reminded me how very fortunate I am to be able to work with a tremendous workforce who do extraordinary things to keep people safe and well."

Emma said she shared the joy of receiving her CBE with her family, who still live in St Anne's, and was looking forward to experiencing the momentous occasion of meeting the Queen with her mum.

"I'm hugely thrilled and incredibly overwhelmed by it all, it's been quite an unexpected surprise," she continued.

"I'm so proud, and I'm really proud to be able to share it with my family too and take my mum along with me to the palace. It's so nice to be able to achieve something to make your family proud.

"There are a lot of people who don't get this honour but have been absolutely fantastic, and I want to pay my respects to every single NHS staff member and all the people working in health and social care, who have had the most difficult year.

"When I get my moment at the palace, I'll be thinking of all those people who have done such an astounding job."

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