I AM genuinely delighted for Prof Steven Broomhead, Warrington Borough Council’s chief executive, after he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

It puts him among such exalted company as Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, fitness coach Joe Wicks rapper Dizzee Rascal and if I’m being honest, my personal favourite Jay Flynn whose online quizzes became a feature of lockdown.

Of course, what is more interesting is why any of these were considered for honours in the first place.

Jay Flynn, a former pub landlord, became famous after what he thought was a closed Facebook group for a few friends accidently went viral with more than 180,000 people playing along at its peak. Jay used his new-found fame as a vehicle for doing good and so far has raised more than £750,000 through donations from his online viewers.

Rashford, of course, successfully campaigned to extend free school meals over the summer after pressing the government into a U-turn on the issue.

Wicks kept us all fit in lockdown.

But what of Prof Broomhead?

I turned to the Warrington Guardian to find out why he was given a gong.

Apparently, it comes following his leadership and chairmanship of the National Libraries Taskforce, in which he helped to implement the Independent Library Report and reinvigorate the national public library service.

As chair of the taskforce since September 2018, he has ‘provided valuable insight and guidance for creating sustainable library services across the country’, ensuring the sector has the ‘insight, expertise and support’ it needs to develop.

As council chief executive, Prof Broomhead was previously chair of Warrington’s Libraries Working Group, which was formed to review the results of consultations over the borough’s library provision following disastrous plans to close some of the town’s best-used libraries and replace them with Amazon-style lending lockers.

Such was the anger from the town’s library users – including a petition with more than 10,000 signatures – the council was forced to look again at the plans.

In the end, the council’s executive board approved recommendations to keep all the existing library sites open at a meeting in January 2017.

Significantly, at that very same meeting, they also agreed to cough up £1million from the council’s capital programme to support a planned programme of repairs and maintenance of library buildings.

Now I’m well aware that a significant amount of money has been spent on Stockton Heath Library and in May this year, plans were passed for work at Padgate Library to remove of the porch canopy.

Cllr Tony Higgins, WBC’s executive board member for leisure and community, told the Warrington Guardian: “The commitment to invest in our community libraries is really taking shape.

“The refurbishment at Stockton Heath Library is already proving a huge hit with users of all ages, and I’m now looking forward to the next stage in our library refurbishment programme.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself, Cllr Higgins. We’re all looking forward to the next stage, and sooner rather than later. Frankly, some to the town’s library buildings are an absolute disgrace. Penketh, for example, looks derelict and there is little evidence of the £1 million pot being put to use anywhere else apart from Stockton Heath.

And this is almost four years after the money was made available. Glaciers move with greater speed.

Perhaps Prof Broomhead, with his shiny new MBE, could sprinkle some of his library magic and provide ‘valuable insight and guidance for creating a sustainable library service across Warrington’.

On another topic altogether, I was amused when a letter from Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane dropped on my doormat telling me of a ‘new’ initiative which will see a police officer assigned specifically to my part of town following the success of dedicated district PCSOs.

While I’m happy to have a bobby on the beat round here, it’s hardly a new idea, is it? Reinventing the wheel springs to mind.