Former local councillor leader receives honorary award
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:56:00 BST
Baroness Pinnock of Cleckheaton receives an Honorary Doctorate of the University for services to the world of politics
ONE of the region’s leading political figures has praised the “enormous contribution” that the University of Huddersfield makes to the life and development of the town.
“You can see daily how the University is growing and enriching what happens here,” said Baroness Kath Pinnock of Cleckheaton. She was speaking at a ceremony that awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of the University for “outstanding for services to the world of politics”.
Baroness Pinnock was leader of Kirklees Council from 2000 to 2006 and led its Liberal Democrat group from 1991 to 2014. She has also served with the development agency Yorkshire Forward and as a non-executive director of Yorkshire Water. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2014.
The award of her Honorary Doctorate – conferred by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, at one of the 31 ceremonies taking place during graduation week – was preceded by an oration from Dr Kiara Lewis, Head of the Division of Health and Wellbeing.
Dr Lewis outlined Baroness Pinnock’s political career, which originated when she successfully campaigned to halt the closure of a primary school. Her achievements include the introduction of the Kirklees Warm Zone scheme, which has provided insulation to almost 100,000 homes, leading to reductions in fuel poverty and in carbon emissions.
When she responded, Baroness Pinnock said that her own university study had been invaluable because it taught her to ask questions and seek evidence. This aided her political career.
As a councillor, she enjoyed the cut and thrust of political debate, she said.
“But the most rewarding part of it was the opportunity to make real changes in people’s lives. The small things that you do can make a big difference. It has been a huge privilege.”