13:53 Wednesday 01 January 2014

According to - My own heroes of 2013

Written byROB SMYTH

INML Staffordshire Newspapers staff pics Dec 2011Rob Smyth INML Staffordshire Newspapers staff pics Dec 2011Rob Smyth

IT will not of escaped attention that as we arrived into the New Year a whole host of people who handed gongs for all manner of reasons.

East Staffordshire’s own Arthur Tipper and Beryl Horton were handed British Empire Medals for services to music and sport respectively.

Elsewhere in the country, DJ Pete Tong was handed an MBE and actress Penelope Keith was made a Dame.

The New Year’s Honour’s list always throws up all manner of names and sparks debate about the merits on which people have been handed a gong.

So, I have decided to offer my own look of the people from Burton and South Derbyshire who I think deserve a little bit of extra recognition for the work they have done during the past 12 months.

Steve Maskrey, Burton’s top cop, should be given a hearty pat on the back for his work to rid the drugs problems from the streets of the town.

Operation Nemesis saw dozens arrested and people across the entire town now live in a much safer place as a result.

Graham Marshment, from the Burton Venture Trust, is just one of many people who give up their spare time to help youngsters or others to enjoy a whole variety of activities.

Every single person who sacrifices just a few minutes to help someone else is well worthy of as much attention and praise that can be lavished on to them.

Former John Port School head teacher Wendy Sharp left her role at the school last year and she left behind a legacy that will last for decades.

Staff at the Pingle School should also be praised for their work to try and turn the site after it was criticised following a visit from Ofsted.

There is still plenty of work to done but the noises so far have been nothing but positive.

Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths gets a lot of stick in his job, some warranted but a lot of it not.

He has been a great MP for the town during 2013 and his initiatives such as the Solider Box appeal and his bid to improve safety on the A38 have, quite rightly, won him plenty of praise.

And for me, the best are saved until last.

My dad works hard to make sure his own business continues to thrive and my mum deserves award after award for the great job she does looking after my disabled sister.

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