Awards for top Greater Manchester officials in New Year’s Honours list

  • Two senior public officials among the names in King’s New Year’s Honours list for 2024
  • OBE for Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester, recognising 42 years of service to local government
  • Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel receives King’s Fire Service Medal, the most prestigious fire service honour, for distinguished three-decade career

TWO top public officials in Greater Manchester have received awards in the King’s New Year’s Honours list for 2024.

Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to local government.

Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel is also named on the list, receiving the King’s Fire Service Medal – the highest honour that can be awarded to fire service personnel.

The list has been published today (Friday 29 December) and follows King Charles’ inaugural New Year’s Honours list for 2023.

OBE for Chief Executive’s 42 years in local government

Eamonn Boylan has received an OBE in recognition of his 42 years of public service, and a career spanning roles in local government in Stockport, Manchester, Sheffield and London, including as Deputy Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency.

Eamonn has been a pivotal figure in Greater Manchester’s pioneering devolution journey, becoming Chief Executive of the newly formed GMCA in 2017 before also taking the helm at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in 2019.

His leadership of the GMCA has seen him spearhead Greater Manchester’s Trailblazer devolution deal, signed with the government earlier this year, which secured new responsibilities for the city-region to develop policies and programmes that work for the local context in skills, transport and housing, as well as a commitment to a single settlement budget.

Amongst his most significant achievements has been realising the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s vision for an integrated London-style public transport system – the Bee Network.

Earlier this year he announced his intention to retire after the May 2024 Mayoral elections.

Eamonn Boylan OBE said: “This is an honour that I share with the brilliant people I’ve worked alongside here in Greater Manchester and throughout my time in local government.

“When I joined the GMCA in 2017 I could not have foreseen the challenges that we would face, but it has been the privilege of my career to see the strength and the spirit of this city-region prevail at every turn. This past year in particular, with the signing of Greater Manchester’s Trailblazer devolution deal, has demonstrated just how relentlessly this place is working to transform public services for the better, and deliver for people at every stage of life.

“As I look ahead to my last few months at the GMCA and TfGM, I will take immense pride in all that we have achieved here. Those achievements are the foundations of this honour, for which I am sincerely grateful.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Eamonn has been a towering figure in local government throughout his career, and nowhere more so than in Greater Manchester.

“In the time I’ve worked with him at the GMCA he has been a steadfast support to me, sharing his peerless insight into how our city-region works – and how much stronger it is when it speaks with one clear, unified voice. From spearheading our devolution deal to delivering the biggest transformation of public transport since the 1980s, his impact on this place simply cannot be overstated.

“Greater Manchester has come a long way in the last decade, and Eamonn has made a major contribution to that progress. We are proud that this has been recognised, but I know that he would be the first to say that it is also a recognition of his outstanding team at all levels of the GMCA.”

Chief Fire Officer receives most prestigious fire service honour

Greater Manchester’s Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Dave Russel has been awarded the King's Fire Service Medal for distinguished service – the highest honour that fire service personnel can receive.

He receives the award for services to the fire and rescue service and public safety.

Dave has served in the fire and rescue service for more than 30 years, many of which were spent at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) before he moved to GMFRS in September 2020 to take on the role of CFO. 

Since joining GMFRS Dave has transformed the service’s leadership and culture and significantly improved the training, preparedness, and capability for responding to terrorist attacks and mass casualty incidents. Just last month, the service was awarded ‘Emergency Service of the Year’ along with two other awards at the 2023 FIRE Magazine Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards.

Dave Russel said: “I am truly honoured and surprised to be awarded the King’s Fire Service Medal. It’s been a huge privilege to be part of the fire and rescue service for 32 years and to serve and protect the people and places of Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

“But it’s not a job that can be done alone and this award is not just for me, it’s for those who have supported me on my journey, including all those at GMFRS who have worked tirelessly over the past three years to support the continuing transformation of our service into what is it today.

“I want to pay tribute to my colleagues and hope they can all share in this good news as we continue on our journey to becoming a modern, flexible and resilient fire and rescue service.”

Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for police, crime, criminal justice and fire, Kate Green, said: “We are so proud of Dave and everything he has done since joining GMFRS. This honour – the highest that can be awarded in the fire service – is richly deserved for a career spent serving communities in our city-region and across the North West.

“Dave would be the first to share any recognition with his colleagues past and present, and that is the measure of who he is as a person and a leader. From day one in Greater Manchester, he made it his priority to uphold a culture of openness, integrity, and professionalism across all areas of the service. He has already steered GMFRS through some significant challenges, from the pandemic to the arena inquiry, and the progress made by the service in that time has been recognised by official inspectors and by peers across the country.

“Dave’s frontline leadership is transforming GMFRS for the better, and this award truly is a testament to the difference he and his team are making.”

Article Published: 29/12/2023 22:35 PM