The leader of North Yorkshire Council has received an OBE in the New Year Honours.
Cllr Carl Les has been at the heart of providing services to more than 600,000 residents and thousands of businesses across the county since he was chosen to lead the former North Yorkshire County Council in May 2015.
Cllr Les led the local government reorganisation which saw the eight former councils providing public services in North Yorkshire merge into one ‘super-council’.
The unitary North Yorkshire Council launched on 1 April 2023 and is the largest council in England by geography and third largest by population.
Cllr Les says he is proud to serve the county and its people but he hasn’t done this alone: “Like many endeavours you can only achieve the best for people and businesses in local government through team effort.
“Whilst I am delighted, though humbled, to receive such an award I see it as a reflection of the teams I have had the privilege to lead.
“I am every bit as honoured to have worked with such committed and hardworking elected members and officers at the former county council and the new unitary, North Yorkshire Council.
“Through our collective efforts and strong partnership working across York and North Yorkshire we have achieved the unprecedented, landing single council status alongside a devolution deal.
“Together these are a game-changer for our region. Presenting us with the best possible opportunity to protect the most valued and essential public services for our residents, while unleashing the local powers and funds which will drive economic growth and deliver better job opportunities for people and businesses here.”
Among the other recipients of New Years Honours:
- Christine Mellor, North Yorkshire Council’s general manager for library services, gets a a BEM (British Empire Medal) for her services to public libraries
- Clive Herbert Jackson is awarded a BEM for services to the community in York
- Professor Julian Daryl Richards, a professor of archaeology at the University of York, is made an OBE for services to heritage and digital archiving
- Maureen Vevers, chair of governors at Askham Bryan College in York, is made an MBE for services to further education
- and Dr John Michael Grimshaw, director of the Yorkshire Arboretum near Malton, becomes an MBE for services to tree health and plant conservation.