WARRINGTON Borough Council’s Chief Executive Professor Steven Broomhead has received the MBE for his services to libraries in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The award comes following his leadership and chairmanship of the National Libraries Taskforce, helping to implement the Independent Library Report and reinvigorate the national public library service. As chair of the Taskforce since September 2018, Professor Broomhead has provided valuable insight and guidance for creating sustainable library services across the country, ensuring that the sector has the insight, expertise and support it needs to develop.
He was previously chair of Warrington’s Libraries Working group, which formed to review the results of consultations over the borough’s provision. The group implemented its plan for the future of Warrington’s libraries, which led to new investment and innovative approaches for the town’s library service.
Commenting on the honour Professor Broomhead said: “It is an honour to be awarded an MBE, and I’m proud to be recognised for my contributions to ensuring that our libraries continue to prosper. It’s particularly fitting at the end of National Libraries Week that I receive this recognition.
“I was delighted to take up the role of chair on the National Libraries Taskforce in 2018 and have enjoyed sharing ideas and providing support, to help promote the strong merits of public libraries and how they are valuable community assets that need to be cherished.
“I have dedicated the majority of my professional career to education, community development and public service, so to be awarded an MBE for my work with the Libraries Taskforce – where these great professional passions have combined – is a very significant moment for me.”
From 2003 to 2011, Professor Broomhead was Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency with a budget of £1 billion per year and was responsible for the economic development and regeneration of the North West. Major projects included Media City UK, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Capital of Culture 2008 and the regeneration of Barrow in Furness.
Professor Broomhead is the Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Warrington Wolves Rugby Super League Football Club, and was its Chairman from 2009-2018. He is also a trustee of the National Football Museum.
In 2007 the University of Chester named their new library the ‘Broomhead Library’. He is also the Founding Chairman of “State of Mind”, a mental health awareness campaign. He is Non- Executive Chairman of Recycling Lives a social value-driven charity/business based in Lancashire with a turnover of £90m – it supports individuals who have experienced prison/homelessness. Recycling Lives has 14 sites in prisons. Prior to working in local government, Steven was principal of 2 colleges (Durham and Warrington).
Also honoured is a Talk engineer from Warrington, who helped connect healthcare settings to broadband during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Miller has received an MBE for his services to critical national infrastructure during the Covid-19 response. This year’s honours list was postponed in June to include people who have been involved in the fight against the virus.
Andrew worked alongside colleague Peter Harding to connect vital sites, including the Nightingale Hospitals in ExCel London, Harrogate and Exeter, 80 care homes, 80 GP surgeries, 200 schools and 250 food distribution and logistics providers.
Meanwhile, a sea cadet leader with links to Warrington has also been made an MBE. Liz Stephens, 66, has been chair of Warrington and Runcorn Sea Cadets after volunteering for more than 35 years.
Working as a health and safety consultant, Liz also finds the time to support other charities within the Runcorn and Warrington area, including Warrington Disability Partnership, Macmillan Nurses, the Latchford Community Hub, Camp Project Wales, several local hospices and Runcorn’s Heath School, where she mentors Year 11 students.