Special honour for businessman

New deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear John Wood.
New deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear John Wood.
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THE Queen has a new representative in Tyne and Wear – Washington businessman John Wood.

Mr Wood, founder and now chairman and chief executive of Tolent Construction, is one of six new Deputy Lords-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear who will assist the main post-holder, Nigel Sherlock, in his duties.

Margaret Fay

Margaret Fay

A trustee of Sunderland University, from which he has an honorary doctorate, Mr Wood recently became a director of Town End Academy. He lives in Washington Village.

“I think we are just supposed to be there as ‘second batter’ if the Lord-Lieutenant himself is unavailable,” he said.

“I expect to be on the bench a lot longer than on the pitch.”

Announcing the appointments, Mr Sherlock said: “The six new Deputy Lieutenants have been chosen because they hold significant positions in our communities and can provide specialist local knowledge.

“They all have something great to offer and I am looking forward to working with all six of them.”

The deputies will have specific responsibilities for suggesting invitees to Royal Garden Parties and suitable organisations that might benefit from a Royal visit. They will also comment on honours nominations, assess nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and deputise in citizenship ceremonies at the Lord-Lieutenant’s request.

As well as John Wood, the other new appointees are:

* Margaret Fay (pictured), who, until last summer, was chairman of Regional Development Agency, OneNorth East. A former managing director of Tyne Tees Television, she was appointed as The Prince of Wales’s Ambassador for the North East in 2005. Margaret also sits on the board at Northumbrian Water, is vice-chairman of The Sage Gateshead and a governor at Sunderland University.

* Major Eric Ingram, who spent 33 years in the Army and 11 years in the Territorial Army and is now chairman of the North East branch of the “ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity”. He has dedicated a great deal of his time to directing fund-raising concerts at Durham Cathedral and The Sage Gateshead and was director of the Durham Military Tattoo.

* Gavin Black, who is a former High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear. He is a chartered surveyor and founding partner of Gavin Black and Partner.

* Jamie Martin, a managing partner of Ward Hadaway solicitors. He leads the development board of the Sunderland AFC Foundation and is chairman of Newcastle College and the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative. In 2007 he was appointed HRH The Prince of Wales’s Ambassador for Corporate Social Responsibility in the North East.

* The Honourable Nigel Westwood is Vice-Consul for the Royal Norwegian Consulate and chancellor of the consular corps in Newcastle