A civil servant who spent 25 years working for the Department of Transport since he left school has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours
Steve Berry, 42, who lives in Hastings, has been awarded the prestigious accolade of an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his work and achievements at the Department for Transport (DfT).
Steve has worked in a variety of roles at the DfT since joining the service on leaving school in 1989 at the tender age of 16.
He commutes daily to the DfT at Westminster, from his home, which he shares with his partner Carol and her daughter Amy.
He currently holds the position of head of highways maintenance, light rail and cableways in the local transport directorate.
Steve’s 25-year service at the DfT has seen him rise through the ranks and make many improvements and carry out maintenance to local highways, light rail and cableways.
This includes Hasting’s East and West Cliff lifts and he says he couldn’t have achieved all he has without the help and support of his colleagues.
He said: “The work I do is not just done by me but involves a great team of people employed in the Department for Transport.
“They are working every day to ensure we deliver the best service we can to members of the public.”
Steve’s responsibilities include making sure that roads and light rails are running properly, dealing with any flooding and, working closely with East Sussex County Council to expedite funding for damage to road networks and assisting local authorities with emergency stock of winter road grit to keep traffic flowing when the weather is particularly bad - as in the snowy winter of 2010/2011.
Steve said to have been nominated and awarded an OBE at such a young age was great news and hopes he will be an inspiration to young people starting out on their careers.
He said: “I’m still in shock.
“To have be given this honour at 42 is unbelievable.
“I went straight into the DfT at 16 and worked my way up to team leader.
“It’s been hard work but I’m able to do my job well because of the excellent people I work with.
“I hope others can see that it can be done.”
Since moving to Hastings from Essex, Steve has joined the Hastings, Rye & District Scout Association, affiliated to the 4th Hastings Scout Group, as a volunteer assistant Scout leader and says the organisation, and the town, has many benefits.
He said: “Helping youngsters at the Scouts is a good way to meet friends and give something back to the town.
“We used to come to Hastings for holidays as children and we know it is an up-and-coming town.”
Steve said he’s now looking forward to visiting Buckingham Palace and being presented with his OBE by HM the Queen at a date to be announced this year. I am truly delighted and immensely proud to be nominated and awarded such an honour.”