East Sussex County councillor is given the MBE

A COUNTY councillor from High Hurstwood has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s 2012 New Year Honours List.

Cllr Robert (Bob) Tidy, Conservative member for Wadhurst, received the honour for services to local government and the community.

Cllr Tidy, 72, told the Express: “I first heard about this in November and I then had to keep the secret. It is a huge honour and my wife and I are both delighted.”

Cllr Tidy, a retired dairy farmer, is married to Sylvia and has four children and several grandchildren. He still farms and aims to improve biodiversity through a Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

He is proud of lobbying hard and ultimately succeeding in ensuring the initial enablement of telephone exchanges to receive Broadband in the county. He is also well known for having given great support to library services in East Sussex.

People in Five Ashes are grateful for the work he did to establish speed management controls on the busy and dangerous A267 through the village. He said: “It took seven years but we got it done.”

He went on: “I have been very fortunate in being surrounded by supportive members and officers of the County Council. Without their help none of this could have happened. And I would also like to encourage anyone who might be even thinking about becoming a councillor to make this the year they go ahead with the decision. It is a wonderful opportunity to really make a difference and to help other people, rather than just sit on the sidelines.”

Cllr Tidy’s family has lived in Sussex for generations. He joined the Young Conservatives and the Young Farmers’ Club and said this taught him tolerance and the skills to become active in agricultural politics. He said the decline of agriculture in rural Sussex had a detrimental effect on the landscape and he is proud that he managed to get the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty recognised as a very marginal agricultural area that needed special measures to preserve its landscape.