Richard Boyd, an adherent member of Hadleigh Temple, has been awarded the OBE in the Queen’s 2011 Birthday Honours List for services to the community of Essex.
“I’m chuffed to receive this honour,” Richard said. “I got a letter from the Prime Minister’s office about a month ago asking if I would accept it. Of course I would! I felt so humbled by it; I don’t mind telling you it reduced me to tears. Then my wife Maureen produced 26 letters of support going back to 2009”.
The letters were written by Bishops, members of the House of Lords, former chief constables and so on. “I was overwhelmed,” confessed Richard. “Reading such nice things that were said about me; it was almost like being at your own funeral.”
Richard’s public service started 40 years ago when he signed up as a special constable. He eventually became chairman of the Essex Police Authority, a post he held for three years. He jocularly claimed that his career “started at the bottom and went down to the basement”. Richard is now Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the county and a County Alderman. Richard jokes: “It doesn’t give me any privileges like driving sheep through the county, but I do get to park my car for free at County Hall.”
All levels of local government have benefited from Richard’s input as he has spent 30 years in elected service. He has been a parish councillor, district councillor and county councillor with some service at different levels being concurrent. For four years he was joint leader of Essex County Council and has served and chairman of Rochford District Council.
As a day job, Richard is chief executive of the charity Disability Essex. And he and Maureen are valued members of Hadleigh Temple Corps.