LONG-TIME Kenilworth councillor Michael Coker has received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the community.
Mr Coker has served as a councillor since 1976. He is a former Kenilworth mayor and Warwick District Council chairman, and is current deputy leader of the district council and portfolio holder for culture.
The 82-year-old told The Observer: “I was very flattered to be honoured alongside Margaret Kite (fellow Kenilworth resident who received a BEM for her dedicated charity work last year).
“I was told at the end of November but could not tell anyone, and being a lawyer, wanted to see it in black and white when it was officially announced.”
His role as a councillor saw him chair the committees which built the swimming pools in Kenilworth, Warwick and Leamington, and is now overseeing on-going major refurbishments to the facilities.
He also led the team that saw the annual Women’s World Bowls Championships make their home at Leamington’s Victoria Park, and played a major role in helping ensure the Commonwealth Games 2022 bowls tournament will be played on the Victoria Park greens.
In his home town of Kenilworth he initiated the movement to refurbish Abbey End and the town centre, and oversaw the arrival of Waitrose, the first stage of Talisman Square, the Kenilworth Centre, Senior Citizens Club and the Civic Centre.
And he chaired the governors of St Augustine’s in Kenilworth when funding was obtained to build the new school, and led the campaign to fund and build St Francis Church in Warwick Road, the latter of which he notes as his proudest achievement.
Mr Coker worked as a solicitor and was also served as HM Coroner for Warwickshire for 17 tears.
Others honoured in the district include Leamington resident Emma Shevvan Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association. who receives an OBE for services to education.
There was also an MBE for Leamington resident Robert Clive Wilson, director of estates and facilities with the University of Bradford, for services to higher education and sustainability.