Knighthood for Eric Pickles

26 May 15

Former communities secretary Eric Pickles is to be knighted in recognition of his public service as an MP and in local government, it has been announced.

The Queen has approved the award to the former cabinet minister, who was replaced at the Department for Communities and Local Government by Greg Clark in Prime Minister David Cameron’s post-election reshuffle.

The award recognises Pickles’ public service, which also included a period as chair of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010 and a career in local government in which he led Bradford Council from 1988 to 1990.

In government, Pickles was a controversial figure, often clashing with council leaders over the impact of spending cuts and the use of council reserves. He also made the contentious decision to abolish local government watchdog the Audit Commission.

However, Pickles also pioneered local retention of half of business rates growth and had proposed increasing this to 90% to increase the financial independence of the sector.

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