Surrey County Council leader David Hodge has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
Mr Hodge, who has been leader of the council since 2011, was awarded the honour for services to local government and charity.
Mr Hodge said: “I’m delighted and honoured to receive this accolade which is really a tribute to the tireless work of thousands of council and charity workers who deliver services to the people of Surrey.
“It’s a huge privilege to serve the residents of Surrey as a councillor and as its leader and I’m determined to carry on doing all I can to stand up for the county including when it comes to highlighting the funding pressures we’re facing.
“I wouldn’t be able to carry out my local government and voluntary work without the support of my wife and family and this award also recognises all the help they’ve given me over the years. I’m very grateful to them and I’m looking forward to them joining me when I receive my award.”
Services to local government
- Following a 22-year career in the British Army, which saw active service in Northern Ireland and Borneo, David Hodge was elected to Tandridge District Council in 1992. He was elected to Surrey County Council in 2005 and became deputy leader in 2009.
- As deputy leader, he led a Public Value Review of every service and department in the council which uncovered £280million of savings.
- In 2011, Mr Hodge became leader of Surrey, one of the biggest councils in the country. He championed a “one team” approach – where organisations work together in the best interests of residents – which has helped Surrey win awards including “Council of the Year” at the Improvement and Efficiency Awards 2013.
- Mr Hodge grew up in an orphanage and a boys’ home and in recognition of his upbringing, he has worked to provide opportunities for young people. As leader, he launched a drive to create hundreds more apprenticeships.
- Mr Hodge is leader of the Local Government Association’s Conservative Group and vice-chairman of the LGA. He has also served as chairman of the County Councils Network.
Services to charity
- A dedicated Rotarian, he has served as President of his local club and District Governor of Surrey and Sussex, and holds Rotary awards for his charitable work over 25 years.
- In 2005 he led a team of Rotarians to Sierra Leone to raise funds and help build a hospital. Over the next three years he led a further team to raise nearly £200,000 to help build a new village for 670 orphaned children, providing a school, training centre and homes.