Local heroes get New Year Honours for work in their communities

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Campaigner Pat Bleau, who has been made an MBE Campaigner Pat Bleau, who has been made an MBE

A Bradford mum who tirelessly campaigned against solvent abuse following the tragic death of her teenage daughter is among those recognised in the New Year’'s Honours list today.

Foster carer Pat Bleau, who set up the Chantelle Bleau Memorial Fund to educate schoolchildren about the dangers of legal and illegal highs after her 16-year-old daughter died sniffing lighter gas, has been awarded an MBE for services to children, young people and families.

Marilyn Waterman feels bad that her sister, Christine Stead, is not also being honoured, as the pair are equal partners in the Wyke community venture which has won praise.

Both women were nominated for their work in running the Earlswood community centre for elderly people.

But Mrs Waterman, 60, said: “The system won’t allow two of us from the same organisation in the same year.

“It’s such a shame and I feel quite sad about it, especially as Christine is chairman of the group.”

Well-known businessman Barry Whitaker, chairman of the textile advisory board at Bradford College from 1990 to 2005, has received an OBE for services to the textile industry and the community.

The retired 76-year-old, who is still involved with the Textile Society, said: “It’s a tremendous honour”.

Richard Wightman, a former Lord Mayor of Bradford, received an OBE for services to further education and the voluntary sector.

The chairman of Bradford College and a former president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce served as a district councillor for more than 20 years, was deputy leader of Bradford Council and took up duties as Lord Mayor in 2002.

Shipley tax officer Yasmin Shabir Khan has been given an MBE for services to equality and diversity. As an administrative officer, she deals with personal taxation matters at Bradford HMRC.

Kim Milner, of Pudsey, has also been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to fitness and to elderly people through her work with the Active Life Group in Pudsey.

And former Keighley school head teacher Louise Smith has been awarded the CBE for her services to education.

Simon Pilling was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for distinguished service.

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