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Friday 15 July 2005

 

Dame Deidre Hutton

Public Orator, Professor Ken Parsons presented the Honorary Graduand at the Degree Ceremony held on Friday 15 July 2005 at 10.30am


Chancellor,

Dame Deirdre Hutton is a remarkable woman who has achieved much to improve the lot of ordinary people in the areas of consumer affairs, food and financial services. She is one of the United Kingdom’s leading experts in consumer affairs and was appointed Chair of the National Consumer Council in 2001. She has previously served as Chair of the Scottish Consumer Council and as a member of the Better Regulation Task Force.

She has contributed to the environment as Vice Chair of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and was a member of the Sustainable Development Commission. She was also a member of the Energy Advisory Panel for the Department of Trade and Industry.

She has contributed to health, as non-executive Director of the Scottish Borders Health Board and a member of the King’s Fund Organizational Audit Council. She was a member of the Wilson committee on complaints in the National Health Service and of the General Dental Council. She has been Chair of the Food Chain Center, a member of the Currie Commission into Future Farming and Food, Chair of the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Council, Chair of the Foresight Panel on the Food Chain and Crops for Industry and a member of the Secretary of State’s Consultative Steering Group on the Scottish Parliament.

Apart from the obvious conclusion that she is attracted to committees with long and exotic titles, one can clearly conclude that Deirdre Hutton has given significant service to the consumer, the community and the country. She continues this work as Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority, Deputy Chair of the European Food Safety Authority and as a Trustee to the Picker Institute which is dedicated to enhancing the role of patients within medicine.

In her ‘spare time’; Deirdre has contributed to the arts. She has been involved in the Scottish Arts Council Music Committee and has founded a company to promote the performance of professional chamber music. In her youth she spent some time in South Africa where she not only got herself arrested, but also spent a season at the new opera house in Cape Town singing professionally in the magic flute – in Africaans.

She has always had a keen sense of justice, derived from her childhood spent in the far north of Scotland, but enhanced by spending time in refugee camps in the Middle East when she was 17 and two years in South Africa in her early 20s. She married in 1975 and has two sons with successful careers: Tom in organic chemistry and Nick in politics.

Deirdre has achieved much with more still to offer. On Monday of next week, she will take up the Chair of the Food Standards Agency. This is an important position for the health of the nation. On her appointment, John Reid, Secretary of State for Health said

I am delighted that Deirdre Hutton is taking on this extremely challenging role. Her considerable experience… clear sense of direction and strength of leadership will be invaluable to the Agency.

We wish her well in her new position and are proud to add her name to the list of distinguished Loughborough Honorary Graduates.

Therefore, Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you, and to the whole university, Dame Deidre Hutton for the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa.

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Loughborough University - Degree Speeches 2005

H.D.McCullam@lboro.ac.uk, July 2005
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