Village champion vows to 'keep fighting' for Cogenhoe after being awarded the British Empire Medal

Elizabeth Packer, third from the left, has been awarded in the Queen's New Year Honours list. The Cogenhoe parish councillor was instrumental in providing a replacement to the village bus service when the county council cut subsidies to less travelled routes in the county earlier in 2018.
Elizabeth Packer, third from the left, has been awarded in the Queen's New Year Honours list. The Cogenhoe parish councillor was instrumental in providing a replacement to the village bus service when the county council cut subsidies to less travelled routes in the county earlier in 2018.

A village community champion who helped to keep a vital bus route into Northampton going - has been recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

Cogenhoe parish councillor Elizabeth Packer, 77, has been involved in setting up clubs for and meeting groups in the village since she moved there with her husband in the 1960s.

It meant that when Northamptonshire County Council announced plans to cut the subsidy to the vital W8 Centrebus into Northampton town centre earlier in 2018, Elizabeth and her fellow villagers sprung into action.

There were fears the loss of the W8 would leave around 30 regular users of the service in Cogenhoe cut adrift.

But she and her neighbours are now served by the Village Hopper thanks to Elizabeth's involvement.

The small red bus, owned by Cogenhoe and Whiston parish councils, now runs between Wollaston and Northampton and provides a vital lifeline for dozens of villagers throughout the week.

Elizabeth's community efforts have now seen her awarded with the British Empire Medal in the Queen's New Year's Honours list for 2019.

"I'm delighted," she said. "But I see this as an award for Cogenhoe really, it keeps Cogenhoe on the map.

"I will carry on fighting for the village as much as I can."

Grandmother-of-three Elizabeth first joined the parish council in 1988 and has spent most of her life volunteering for various causes.

"I've done my best for this village since I came here in the 1960s," she said.

"My idea is just to help improve the quality of life here."

Elizabeth has been invited to the Queen's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in spring.