Sue Ratchford

Housing tenants among New Year honours

Board representatives from housing associations in Manchester and Burnley were awarded British Empire titles.

An OBE was awarded to Sue Ratchford, chairman of Northwards Housing, for services to local government in North Manchester. Northwards Housing owns and manages former council stock.

Ratchford said: "I was absolutely amazed to find out I've been awarded this honour; it still hasn't sunk in. I first got involved in the north Manchester community when I joined the Hillside Residents Association around 15 years ago. I've always wanted the very best for north Manchester, and that's why I joined the steering group that eventually established Northwards Housing in 2005. From there I joined the Northwards board and probably my proudest moment was when I was voted chair of the board in 2007. Since then it's been a whirlwind and a joy to watch Northwards grow and make a difference in the city!

"At the end of the day, it's all about the tenants. I've been a council tenant for over 20 years, so I know how far things have come. This time last year we saw the completion of the five year Decent Homes Programme, which we delivered on time, on budget and to a really high standard, providing Northwards tenants with the type of quality properties they deserve. That was just the beginning, and I look forward to continuing to work with Northwards to help north Manchester thrive."

Winifred McGeorge received an MBE for services to social housing in Burnley, Lancashire. McGeorge is a tenant representative on the board of Calico Homes.

Also awarded MBEs were Lee Craven, for services to the community in Salford, Greater Manchester; Cllr Pamela Anne DIXON, for services to the community in Altrincham, Greater Manchester; Joanne, Lonsdale-Smith, partnership manager for Tesco, for services to disadvantaged people in Greater Manchester; Barbara Micklethwaite, for services to the community in Oldham; and Madhurika Patel, for services to the Indian community in Greater Manchester.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, veteran Labour politician in Liverpool and chairman of Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust, was awarded an OBE for services to health.

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