THIS year's Queen's Birthday honours have recognised individuals for their services to the community after the Novichok poisonings in Salisbury and Amesbury.

Wiltshire Council's executive director Alistair Cunningham has been awarded an OBE while director Robin Townsend receives an MBE, and network operations manager Simon Rowe receives an MBE for services to the community in south Wiltshire in recognition of their response to last years never agent incidents.

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Alistair chaired the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group from March 2018-March 2019, while Robin was vice chair. And Simon worked on the operational side of the Recovery Coordinating Group.

All three worked on the recovery programme for South Wiltshire, working closely with partners through the incident to coordinate the recovery programme, including the clean-up operation.

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Alistair said: “Robin, Simon and I are honoured to be nominated for these awards, which reflect the hard work and dedication that everyone at Wiltshire Council and our partners put in to support South Wiltshire during a very difficult time. It was very much a team effort, not only by those involved in the response but also by those who continued to provide high-quality services across Wiltshire so we could focus on the work in South Wiltshire over a 12-month period.”

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Councillor Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, who is the portfolio holder for strategic highways, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, European Structural Investment Fund, canals and military-civilian integration, has been awarded an MBE for services to local government and the community.

Fleur has been involved in finding a solution for the A303 at Stonehenge, ensuring the highway serves the people of Wiltshire – and the wider south west – while protecting Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.

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She has also contributed to economic development in the county - playing a key role in securing investment for Porton Down Science Park and Wiltshire's Military Civilian Integration Partnership.

Cllr de Rhé-Philipe said: “I am honoured to receive this award and I’m proud to have served Wiltshire’s communities for many years. There have been many challenges as well as special moments during this time, and I am pleased that I have been able to make a positive difference to the county, and the people who live, work and visit here.”

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott added: “We’re delighted that Fleur, Alistair, Robin and Simon have been honoured in this way.

“Fleur is a dedicated and passionate public servant whose commitment, drive and determination over many years has made Wiltshire a better place to live. She has devoted much of her life to the people of Wiltshire, to making the county a more prosperous place for its inhabitants, and to making Wiltshire a more attractive place to visit.

“The awards for Alistair, Robin and Simon reflect their roles during the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury. The response and recovery effort during these difficult times was exemplary and a superb example of partnership working across both local and central government, blue light services and the military. Congratulations to them all on these well-deserved honours.”

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The Chief Executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Cara Charles-Barks has been awarded an MBE for services to the NHS in recognition of her "exceptional and inspirational leadership" during the nerve agent attacks.

She said: "This is a great honour. I feel that this is recognition of the work of all the staff at Salisbury District Hospital. Each of our staff played a part in keeping the hospital open and running smoothly through the first nerve agent attack on European soil since World War II and the longest running major incident in the NHS’s 70 year history. Hospital staff did what they do each day; they gave outstanding care to our community. I am humbled by their commitment and care for people in Salisbury and I am delighted to accept this honour."

Staff at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, Professor Tim Atkins, Dr Mark Fulop, and Dr Sarah Stubbs, have been awarded OBEs for their scientific support after the nerve agent incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury last year.

Dr Mark Fulop receives his OBE for his leadership in the field of chemical, biological and radiological science, including leading Dstl’s scientific response to the incidents.

He said: “It is incredible to have received such an honour – it was an amazing privilege to lead such a dedicated and talented team throughout the events in Salisbury and Amesbury last year.

"For many of us, Salisbury is not some far-away place about which we know little, but our home. I was acutely aware that all the advice provided and the work done at Dstl impacted on family and friends."

Prof Atkins receives his OBE for his service to UK defence and security, as well as providing scientific advice and support in the response to the incidents.

He said: "I am deeply humbled by this award which means a lot to me. The Salisbury and Amesbury incidents were challenging across the UK emergency response capability. I was proud to be part of a large team of people without whom I would not have been effective in what I did."

Dr Stubbs receives her OBE for her work to develop analytical chemistry methods, which were used to assist during the incidents.

She said: "I am truly humbled by this prestigious honour which I believe proudly recognises the excellence and tireless dedication of Dstl’s Analytical Chemistry team members past and present, and the outstanding impact of our work upon the defence and security of the UK."

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Major (Retired) William Gillett, was honoured with an MBE for services to veterans. He was a support officer for Blesma, Military Charity for Limbless Veterans for 16 years after serving in the military. He now works at the war injuries clinic at Salisbury District Hospital.

Speaking about the honour he said it was "absolutely incredible", adding: "I'm very proud. I still feel a bit overwhelmed."

Sarah Simpson, estates clerk of Tidworth, Netheravon and Bulford Garrison was awarded an MBE for services to the army and the community in Wiltshire.

Michael Brunton from Allington receives a BEM for services to the community in Allington and Boscombe.

Salisbury International Arts Festival guest festival director Jonathan Dove has been awarded a CBE for services to music.

Composer Jonathan has played a key role in the development and programming of this year’s Festival, which ends this weekend.

Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director Gareth Machin said: “We are thrilled that Jonathan has been recognised in this way. He has a significant relationship with Salisbury and it’s been a joy working with him on this year’s festival.”

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