IoL Chairman’s Special Recognition Awards have been presented to Suzanne Fisher, Dave Nevitt, Inspector Alan McKeon and PC Diane Park. The awards were announced and presented at the IoL’s Annual Gala Dinner, last night (Thursday 16th November 2023).
With 4 recipients this year, we were delighted to announce the following Chairman’s Special Recognition Awards:
Suzanne was presented with the award in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the IoL West Midlands Region. In addition to her long career in licensing (she joined the licensing team in Telford & Wrekin in 1998, Suzanne has supported the West Midlands Region as Regional Secretary, a role she took up in 2006.
The IoL has been incredibly lucky with its regional officers volunteering their time and effort to bring our regions alive, and Suzanne has embodied the regional officer role, playing an integral part of the West Midlands Regional Committee for 17 years, dedicating her time, energy and passion to the region and supporting other regional officers, all alongside a challenging role as a local authority licensing manager. She stepped down earlier this year having made the decision to hang up her licensing hat.
Suzanne's Award was jointly presented by IoL Chairman Daniel Davies and West Midlands Regional Chair Sarah Clover:
Sarah Clover, West Midlands Regional Chair said:
"Suzanne has been a vital officer for the West Midlands region for so many years now, continuously supporting the region in her role as regional secretary and providing superb support to me and other regional officers, particularly when we first joined the regional committee. She has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and we are truly grateful to her for her kindness, energy, and the long commitment she has given us all. We will miss Suzanne very much, but it is such a pleasure to be able to recognise her contribution through our Chairman’s Special Recognition Award."
Dave was presented with the award in recognition of an outstanding career and particularly for his tireless work in London’s West End stress area which is the busiest licensing area in the country in terms of the sheer volume of establishments.
Dave has just retired after 40 years’ service at Westminster City Council, arguably one of the most difficult and challenging areas in the country. He served as Senior EHO and has been at the heart of most of the major licensing and planning applications in the city during this period.
Dave is known for his pro-active approach in carrying out his duties both in enforcement against poor operators and a very business friendly approach to good operators. He has always been extremely fair during licensing committee applications hearings and on applications has always presented a neutral or even positive case in support of applicants.
He possesses a phenomenal knowledge of environmental health and licensing legislation and works with operators to ensure the best possible case can be submitted on their behalf.
Dave's Award was jointly presented by IoL Chairman Daniel Davies and London Regional Chairman Gareth Hughes:
Gareth Hughes, London Regional Chair said:
Dave has been a fantastic licensing officer for Westminster City Council for over 40 years. His approach has always been very positive and ‘can do’, and he has always treated applicants and licence holders with respect and courtesy, offering advice and support, with enforcement always a last resort. He is firm but fair, and as a result has earned the trust and respect of all who have worked with him. It is an honour to be able to recognise his commitment and dedication to licensing through this Special Recognition Award.
The awards to Inspector Alan McKeon and PC Diane Park follow the highly successful and nationally acclaimed ‘We’ve got HeART’ project in Wirral, an art exhibition whereby the art is produced by hostel residents who have experience of substance addiction.
Using art to engage with hard-to-reach people was originally the idea of Constable Diane Park following hostel visits when she identified the importance and potential for art within service users. With the support of Inspector Alan McKeon. The idea grew and ‘We’ve Got HeART’ project was created.
The artwork ranges from drawings to paintings, sculptures, poems, and photography. This exciting opportunity offers the artists a unique opportunity to showcase their work at a venue which is open to the public.
We’ve got HeART’ has received a lot of interest nationally and featured on Crimewatch. It is part of Project Adder which focuses on co-ordinated law enforcement activity, alongside expanded diversionary programmes (such as Out of Court Disposal orders), using the criminal justice system to divert people away from offending.
We’ve got HeART’ culminated in an exhibition opened by Merseyside's Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell, at Daniel Davies’ Oakland Gallery in New Brighton.
The awards were presented by Daniel Davies, IoL Chairman.
Daniel Davies, IoL Chairman said:
‘Having worked with Merseyside police on licensing, environment, crime and ASB issues, we were delighted to host a public exhibition of the artists’ work at our Gallery in New Brighton. This is a fantastic example of an initiative which has successfully engaged people at a point in their lives when engagement is critical to them and makes a real difference within the community. The results have brilliantly illustrated this, and it is an absolute pleasure to be able to acknowledge the work which Alan and Diane have put into bringing the project alive and making it such as a success’.
The Chairman’s Special Recognition award is an annual award, presented at the discretion of the serving chairman. Nominations are made through the Board of Directors and the final decisions are made by the Chairman in consultation with the Chairman’s Committee.
Anyone wishing to make a suggestion for future nominations should contact their regional director with supporting information before 1st September annually.