Old foes of Camden politics could be brought together at Buckingham Palace

Cllr Flick Rea has been awarded an MBE for services to local government. Picture by Dieter Perry

Cllr Flick Rea has been awarded an MBE for services to local government. Picture by Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

An actress-turned-politician has spoken of the “great honour” of serving the people of Camden for the best part of three decades after she was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Pam Chesters at the Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Pam Chesters at the Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Cllr Flick Rea has been awarded an MBE after 27 years of representing the people of Fortune Green.

The Liberal Democrat stalwart, who has Camden Council’s longest unbroken period in office after first being elected in 1986, was recognised for services to local government and to the community in London.

She said: “I’m delighted and sort of surprised. It’s not something I ever worked for or expected, so I’m extremely grateful to those who suggested it should be me.

“I’m very pleased because my father was a military MBE and he would be just so pleased and proud.”

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Cllr Rea, who lives in Agamemnon Road, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art – not long after her fellow politician and former thespian Glenda Jackson was there – and worked in the theatre before entering public life.

“Actors and politicians have something in common,” she said. “They are performing to audiences, seeking approval and liking the applause.

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“The only difference is that actors have to audition all the time, while as a councillor we only have to be put up for election every four years.”

She added: “It’s still a great honour to be a councillor. It’s an amazing honour that people put their faith in your abilities to sort things out for them.

“My only worry is that people still turn up on the doorstep with their problems after I stand down.”

A one-time political opponent of Cllr Rea was also on the honours list.

Pam Chesters, of Redington Road, Hampstead, was a Conservative councillor for the then Frognal ward from 1990 to 2000, serving as leader of her local party towards the end of her run.

The 57-year-old was more recently chairman of the charity Action for Children’s board of trustees and was handed a CBE for services to vulnerable children.

Mrs Chesters, who was also Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s adviser for health and youth opportunities until last May, said: “Action for Children is a fantastic organisation and I was really lucky to work with a great board and staff.

“They do amazing work with some of the most vulnerable children in the country and it’s nice to feel my contribution is seen as making a difference.”

She added: “It’s lovely to see my old political foe Flick being recognised for all the work that she’s done.

“It’s nice to see people who stand up to be public servants recognised. If we’re at Buckingham Palace at the same time it would be a pleasure.”

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