A MAN from Hitchin has been knighted in The Queen s New Year s Honours list while others in Comet country have also received recognition for their services to the country. Adrian Montague, of Bearton Road, is chairman of British Energy. He said he was pr

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Leroy Kettle

A MAN from Hitchin has been knighted in The Queen's New Year's Honours list while others in Comet country have also received recognition for their services to the country.

Adrian Montague, of Bearton Road, is chairman of British Energy.

He said he was "proud and humbled" by the announcement and took the chance to pay tribute to the dedication of British Energy's employees.

Sir Adrian said: "This honour doesn't just reflect my personal contribution, but the contribution of all our staff to the task of turning around British Energy."

Richard Bennett, 75, from London Road, Biggleswade, has been given an MBE for his services to flood defence.

A family that has been prominent in the market town community for generations, initially due to their business, J S Bennett and Sons butchers, Mr Bennett's retirement saw him volunteer his time to various public bodies and has been chairman of the Beds and River Ivel Internal Drainage Board for 16 years.

He said: "It means a great deal to me because I am particularly pleased that the body I represent has got some recognition.

"It gives me as much pleasure as getting it myself."

Hitchin resident Leroy Kettle, 56, was a senior policy advisor on disability rights for the Department for Work and Pensions and has been awarded an OBE.

Following news of his new accolade he said: "I found out in November and yes, it was a surprise.

"I've been a civil servant for over 30 years and for the last 15 I've been working on disability issues, advising ministers and developing policy on the Disability Discrimination Act.

Having recently retired, Mr Kettle is already planning how to spend his free time.

He said: "I hope to do more in the local community and some voluntary work during my retirement."

Recognition also went to:

o Leslie Hodges MBE, of The Chilterns, Hitchin, for services to the community in Hitchin

o Godfrey Leak MBE, of Hitchin Road, Weston, for services to the Criminal Justice Agencies and to the community of Hertfordshire

o Magistrate Alan Painter MBE, of Oak Drive, Henlow, for services to the administration of justice in Bedfordshire.

o Raymond Cutting OBE, of Clover Close, Biggleswade, for his services to the defence industry

Awards are in recognition of distinguished service in any form by people from every section of the community and recommendations for honours can be made by anyone and should be sent to the Prime Minister's Office.

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