‘Pioneering’ Islington councillor gets MBE from the Queen
PUBLISHED: 09:49 07 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:49 07 January 2015
A “pioneering” Islington councillor has been awarded an MBE for services to local government and to the community.
Janet Burgess, the deputy leader of the council, has represented Junction Ward in Archway for two spells since 1997 and has been a governor at a number of schools in the borough.
Her Labour colleagues on the council said she had made a massive contribution to Islington over many years and made a huge impact in her role as executive member for adult social care after she was re-elected in 2006.
Cllr Burgess said she was moved to be put forward for such a prestigious honour.
She said: “I’m moved that someone nominated me and I really had no idea it was going to happen.
“I’ve been involved with the community for a very long time and I really enjoy being a councillor.
“Most recently I’m proud that we’ve been able to secure the contract for home carers where we’ve guaranteed them the London living wage, but other than that the best part of being a councillor is helping people.
“Helping people work their way through all the bureaucracy is one of the most important roles of ward councillor. One of the most rewarding moments was when I got a message from someone saying you’ve really helped me.
“That’s why you do it, to help people do something – something that should be quite simple, but we all get bogged down.”
Cllr Burgess is a current governor at Hargrave Park School and has previously been a governor at Yerbury Primary School.
Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “I think Janet has made a massive contribution to Islington over many years in her two stints on the council.
“She’s done a massive amount of good in her Junction Ward and in the Archway area and for the last five years as executive member for adult social care – the area which requires the highest spending – she has been a real pioneer and set the standard for other councils in London.
“She’s managed to do all that and remain immensely popular with her fellow councillors and her constituents – which is quite a trick to pull off, I think.
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this honour more.”
Cllr Burgess said she was looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace, but not necessarily because of the prospect of meeting the Queen.
She said: “I always like going to historic buildings and exploring.
“I went to Downing Street years ago and it was fascinating. They had trouble getting me out.”