homeThursday 21st March 2019

Queen gives Battersby MBE

Brian Cowan10/12/2014 - 13:00

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Mr Battersby with his MBE
Mr Battersby with his MBE

CIEH vice president Dr Stephen Battersby has collected his MBE from the Queen in recognition of his contribution to environmental health.

Dr Battersby was presented with the award of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle last Friday. He was accompanied by his wife Cynthia, his elder son Richard and his fiancée Sarah Heath.

Dr Battersby said: 'Her Majesty asked about what I did in environmental health and was most interested in my research work on rats as a reservoir of infections and the risks to public health.

‘I was so concerned about getting the protocol right and not falling over my own feet, it is hard to remember the whole conversation and I probably burbled! I was towards the end of the session when about 70 people had received their awards, so had been waiting quite a while.

‘This gave me an opportunity to chat with quite a few other nervous people including Lizzy Yarnold who won the skeleton bob Gold Medal at this year’s Winter Olympics.’

Dr Battersby worked for the CIEH as Assistant Secretary from 1980 to 1988. During that time, he worked closely with Bill Randall in establishing the EHN magazine.

He was also involved in campaigns to improve areas of environmental health and housing legislation and that has continued, for example, the transfer of private sewers to the water and sewerage companies was the result of his work after he set up the Campaign for the Renewal of Older Sewerage Systems with CIEH Vice President Joan Walley MP.

He was Chair of the CIEH Council in 2005 and served as President of the organisation from 2008 to 2011. While holder of these posts, he initiated significant changes, first on reducing the size of the Council and then on the review of the governance. He was invited to be a Vice President in 2013.

Dr Battersby has also chaired the CIEH National Pest Advisory Panel and acted as Secretary to the CIEH Commission on Housing Renewal and Public Health. He is the current editor of Clay’s Handbook of Environmental Health and is one of the team at Warwick University that developed the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, the basis of action on housing conditions under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004.

Over the past 25 years he has been involved in a number of housing research projects for the government. He still provides training courses on housing law for Shelter and other organisations as well as reporting on Housing Act decisions in the First-tier Tribunal for the UK Housing Professionals Forum for RH Environmental, for whom he also co-authors the Housing Health International Research Bulletin. He also currently chairs the board of Generation Rent (the National Private Tenants Organisation).

His work at the Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health at Surrey University is largely to do with his interest in rodents as reservoirs of infection. He has recently completed a chapter for a forthcoming publication on rodents as carriers of disease and was lead author for the commensal rodents chapter in WHO publication Public Health Significance of Urban Pests.

CIEH chief executive, Graham Jukes, said: ‘Stephen’s award from the Queen is richly deserved and hugely welcomed by the whole environmental health community. Throughout his career he has been at the forefront of so many changes that have affected the work of the profession and the CIEH and his award is rightful recognition of his dedication and support.’

This has been an unprecedented year for those working in environmental health with CIEH Graham Jukes receiving an OBE, and MBEs awarded to EHOs Jenny Morris, Major James Fawcett and Rachel Starling.

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