Lancashire Civic Leaders’ Commonwealth Celebration Event

On 18 April 2018, community and business leaders will attend a civic celebration to reaffirm the values of the Commonwealth. The prestigious dinner event, which will take place at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa, will be hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant for Lancashire – The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth KG, KCVO.

The live finals for ‘Commonwealth Voices’ will take place at this important event.

Our Judging Panel

Lemn Sissay MBE

Lemn Sissay MBE is author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, broadcasts, public art, commissions and plays. Lemn was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London.They can be seen in The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. Lemn was official poet for The FA Cup 2015 and his Desert Island Discs was pick of the year for BBC Radio 4 2015.

Lemn is Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Patron of The Letterbox Club, Canterbury’s Poet Laureate and he is a regular contributor to radio and television.

The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth KG, KCVO

Lord Shuttleworth has been Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire since 1997. He succeeded Sir Thomas Dunne as Chairman of the Association of Lord-Lieutenants in 2008.

Lord Shuttleworth was educated at Eton College and qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1970. He then worked in the City of London in private practice, specialising in commercial valuations, compulsory purchase and town planning, before returning to Lancashire in 1977.

In 1979, Lord Shuttleworth was appointed as a director of the Burnley Building Society. He also served as a director for the National and Provincial Building Society, becoming a Chairman in 1993. He went on to become the Deputy Chairman of Abbey National plc and served as a Director for ten years until its acquisition by Santander. He has been Chairman of the Santander UK Group Pension Scheme Trustee Company since 2005.

Lord Shuttleworth was a member of the House of Lords from 1975-1999 and, in the 2011 New Year Honours List, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. He also served as the Chairman of the Rural Development Commission, the government agency responsible for the economic wellbeing of rural areas, from 1990-1997. In 1997, he was appointed to the council of The Duchy of Lancaster, serving as Chairman from 2005 until he retired in 2014.

Dr Yvonne Reddick

Yvonne Reddick’s poetry pamphlet Translating Mountains won the Mslexia Women’s Pamphlet Competition, and was selected as a favourite pamphlet of 2017 in the Times Literary Supplement. She won a Northern Writer’s Award in 2016. Her poems appear in magazines such as PN Review, Stand and The North.

A lecturer in Creative Writing at UCLan, her favourite things to discuss with her students are Sylvia Plath’s changing accents and the best places to publish poems. Her book Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

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