A CIVIC leader in the North-East has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours’ for services to local government and public service reform.

Pat Ritchie, Newcastle City Council’s chief executive since January 2013, dedicated her honour to the city and the work of councils across the country.

The “very proud” civil servant said. “I have spent most of my career in the public sector, most recently in local government, and could not be prouder to have done so.

“The important work of councils has never been in sharper focus than it is today, continuing to deliver services and supporting our residents and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone who works within local government strives to improve people’s lives, to support communities and create effective partnerships with our businesses, health service and education providers.”

Pat, who is married to Brian, with a son, Stuart, and daughter, Alice, played a leading role in securing the multimillion-pound investment deal to bring Legal and General to Newcastle’s flagship Helix city quarter.

She is a former chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) and former deputy chief executive of the One North-East the regional development agency and continues to influence housing and economic policy nationally.

Earlier this year she was appointed to chair the Government Property Agency and has also led negotiations with the Government for the North of Tyne devolution deal.