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New Year's Honours 2020: Former Islington Council chief exec Lesley Seary set to be appointed CBE

PUBLISHED: 22:31 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:06 28 December 2019

Islington's chief exec Lesley Seary is stepping down. Picture: Islington Council

Islington's chief exec Lesley Seary is stepping down. Picture: Islington Council

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The former chief exec of Islington Council is among those with links to the borough to make the New Year's Honours List 2020.

Lesley Seary held the top town hall post for eight years but announced her departure in April - and she's now set to be appointed an CBE for her services to local government.

"I'm very pleasantly surprised," Ms Seary told the Gazette. "It's one of those things where you can't do any of this without the people that surround you.

"I take it as a compliment to myself but a huge compliment to everybody I have worked with in local government. I think all of this is really a reflection on all the work we have done in Islington."

Ms Seary added: "I'm chuffed but it doesn't feel like it's just about me, it's about everybody that's supported and worked with me. For me, at the end of the day, it was always about the people who work and live in Islington and making their lives better, so I feel very proud that what we did in Islington is being recognised."

She said the task was made all the harder due to a decade of austerity, during which central government slashed 70 per cent of Islington Council's core budget.

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Ms Seary is now working as non-executive director of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust.

Elsewhere, Hon Michael Samuel, who chairs the Anna Freud Centre in Rodney Street, off Pentonville Road, is to become an MBE in recognition of his services to young people and mental health.

Under Mr Samuel's leadership the mental health charity has grown into a leader in its field, and has helped to boost research capacity at University College London.

The centre this year established a project to build a campus for children and young people's mental health in London. Mr Samuel has spearheaded fundraising and was the first to pledge a substantial donation.

He said: "I'm very pleased. I work with some really great people at the Freud Centre so really it's their work, I feel it's more to do with them than me. The next thing is getting our building done this year, which is a huge step for us."

Charles Manby, 61, works as senior associate at Goldman Sachs bank but is being appointed MBE for services to charity and medical research.

Charles and his banker colleagues raised £220,000 which made possible the building of The Lodge, a reading and community room at Pakeman Primary School in Hornsey Road.

Yusuf Patel, 25, a community engagement coordinator at Redbridge Council, will become an MBE for his services to community and interfaith cohesion. He previously worked for a Prevent team in Islington doing work around terrorism and counter-extremism and encouraging people to report hate crime. He worked with the community after the far-right terror attack outside Muslim Welfare House.

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