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