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Long Serving former Essex County Councillors Honoured

19 June 2017

Two former Essex County Councillors have been awarded the OBE and the MBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Former councillor Rodney Bass has been awarded an OBE, for services to local government and “Mr Canvey Island” Ray Howard has been awarded an MBE, for services to local government and the community in Canvey Island.

Rodney Bass was an Essex County Councillor for 20 years and a Maldon District Councillor for more than 40 years before he retired ahead of the recent Essex County Council elections. As well as being Chairman of Essex County Council for two years between 2010 and 2012, Mr Bass was a prominent member of the Cabinet where most recently he was responsible for Strategic Infrastructure.

Ray Howard served as a county councillor, representing the people of Canvey, for over 30 years. He was first elected Canvey Island Urban District Council in 1968 before being elected to the County Council in 1985. He retired at the last county council elections in May this year.

Rodney Bass learned he was to receive this honour on his last day as a county councillor. He said: “I am really delighted and truly honoured to have been made an OBE. It is wonderful for me personally but I also see it as recognition for of my former colleagues who have supported me over the last 50 years and I thank them for all their help.”

Ray Howard said: “I was very, very, very pleased to learn I was being recognised. I have been in public service since I was first elected in 1968 and receiving this sort of recognition is just wonderful. It is also humbling because I know so many people are working so hard for the community in Canvey and even as I accept this honour I am mindful of all the work they are doing.”

Cllr John Aldridge, Chairman of Essex County Council said: “They have both been long, hard working and diligent councillors serving the people for decades. These award are fitting reward for the work they have done. Congratulations to both of them.”

Cllr David Finch, Essex County Council Leader, said: “I would like to congratulate both Ray and Rodney on receiving these awards. They have both did an excellent job representing the people of Essex as cabinet and local members, and thoroughly deserve this kind of recognition.

“With over 90 years of public service between them they are fantastic examples of what it means to be a public servant and what they achieved for Essex and the communities they represented will forever stand as a testament to their commitment.”

Serving county councillor Dr John Baker has also been awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to education over the last 50 years.

As well as honours for the councillors, Debbie Holme is to receive a British Empire Medal Services to Dance and Young People in Essex for the work she has done in 40 years as the principal of Essex Dance Theatre.