Chief Constable pays tribute to Dame Vera Baird

Dame Vera Baird.
Dame Vera Baird.

Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable has paid tribute to Vera Baird after she was made a Dame in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria received the honour in recognition of services to the cause of women and equality.

Keith Loraine, Isos Housing Groups outgoing chief executive.

Keith Loraine, Isos Housing Groups outgoing chief executive.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “I am delighted that Vera is to be awarded in this way.

“It is a fitting tribute – not just for her work as a Police and Crime Commissioner, but for the many years of determined effort she has put into challenging inequality and championing equal rights.

“She is a hugely committed public servant who passionately cares about her work and it is absolutely right that she receive such recognition.”

The recipients of an OBE in the New Year’s honours list included Isos Housing Group’s outgoing chief executive Keith Loraine.

The 62-year-old formally stepped down from his role at Isos yesterday, December 31, having led the group and one of its founding partners, Enterprise 5, for a period of 24 years.

During this time, he led the growth of the social landlord from owning and managing less than 1,000 homes to more than 17,000 homes – including hundreds in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Beyond his responsibilities with Isos, he has always been a dedicated advocate for the housing association sector as a whole, at one time as a board member of the National Housing Federation and chairing its Supported Housing Committee, and also being an active member of the CBI and the North East Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Loraine, who grew up in Sunderland, has used his influence to promote a wider understanding of the work of housing associations, playing a leading role on behalf of housing and construction sectors in the submission to the Adonis Review of the North East economy, and he has led the sector in its engagement with the North East Combined Authority.

Paul Fiddaman, new chief executive of Isos Housing Group, said: “Keith has devoted his career to improving the circumstances and life chances of some of society’s most vulnerable people and has been an excellent ambassador for the housing sector and the North East region.”