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Community Hero Awards: judging panel announced 

The Community Hero Awards applications will be put forward in front of a prestigious judging panel made up of key industry figures including:

Peter W. Thomas
Since beginning his career in the 1970s, Peterʼs achievements have been wide-ranging. He helped set up Punch Taverns in 1997, before developing a range of franchise agreements for Mitchells & Butlers. After leaving M&B in 2009, he set up a consultancy, offering advice on franchising and other opportunities, and led a course at Birmingham City University. He was appointed interim CEO of the BII Council last year.

Bob Neill MP
Bob Neill MP was elected as MP for Bromley and Chislehurst in June 2006, and has served as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government since May 2010. Additionally, he was made Shadow Local Government Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in 2008, and the following year also took over the shadow planning brief.

Gary Gilchrist
Gary Gilchrist, long-time chairman of the North Hayes Pub Watch, has been in the licensed trade for over 26 years. His experience ranges from working in the Dorchester, Park Lane in the 70s to being co-licensee of the Archway Tavern in the 90s.In his view, “It is only right and fitting that the pubs that go the extra mile for their community should be recognised and rewarded for their efforts.”

John Longden
John Longden set up the Pub is the Hub scheme 10 years ago, and has been involved in around 350 projects helping to put pubs at the heart of their communities. He commented, “In running Pub is The Hub for the past 10 years it has amazed me how good licensees can help their communities in so many different ways. They really are the unsung heroes of their local areas. I am thrilled to be invited to join the panel.”

The panel will also be joined by Enterpriseʼs commercial director, Ed Cottrell, as well as an Enterprise regional manager, Michael Ekberg, who has shown great community spirit.