A POPULAR councillor and the chairman of High Wycombe's Council for Christian-Muslim Relations are among the Bucks residents to have been named in the New Year's Honours.

Chiltern District Council cabinet member Mimi Harker was made an OBE for services to women of ethnic minorities in the public sector and for her community work in Amersham.

And Chauhdry Shafique was given the MBE for his services to community cohesion in High Wycombe.

They were joined by over a dozen other Bucks residents to receive awards.

Cllr Harker said she was “shocked, numb, overwhelmed, thrilled and excited” on hearing she had been made an OBE – but admitted she thought someone was playing a trick on her to begin with.

“When I got the letter I phoned the number to see if it was real,” said the council's Chesham Bois representative. “I did think it was a wind-up.

“There's a whole raft of feelings you go through. I haven't taken it all in yet.

“I've had a few phone calls. Everyone is saying how thrilled they are, which is so kind.”

She added: “I do the work I do because I'm passionate about it – that's the reason you do it. You do it with your heart and soul. When this happens it's amazing. You just don't expect it.”

Council Leader Nick Rose said: “It's very well deserved. She's a credit to the council and does a terrific job.

“I phoned her straight away and congratulated her and I was happy to do so.”

Chauhdry Shafique, the chairman of High Wycombe’s Council for Christian Muslim Relations, said he was “delighted, humbled and honoured to be acknowledged” after being made an MBE.

He said: “I have always been proud of the work I do. It's all down to teamwork and I'm hugely grateful to a number of people I have been working with over the years to promote community cohesion.

“I'm enormously delighted to be recognised by Her Majesty.”

Mr Shafique added: “The cause for which this award has been given has been extremely topical in the last nine or ten years and it continues to be one of the most pressing challenges for us as a multi-faith community. Being able to work towards that with a number of good people is something I feel very passionate about.”

Among the other award winners were Anthony Redmod, the former chairman of the Commission for Local Administration from Gerrards Cross, who is now Sir Anthony.

He is joined by fellow Gerrards Cross residents Nigel Watkin Roberts Smith, who was made a CB of the Order of the Bath for his years of service at the Office of Government Commerce, and Nirpal Singh Riat, who was made an OBE for services to charity and the Punjabi community.

Former Tribunals Judge Ann Brice, from Lane End, was made an OBE for services to the administration of justice and Colin Deverell Smith of Beaconsfield was bestowed with the same honour for services to Assured Food Standards.

The Marlow-based Chief Executive of the Civil Service Sports Council, Marian Holmes, was also made an OBE.

MBEs were awarded to High Wycombe's Bryan Edgley, for services to the agricultural industry and the Buckinghamshire community, and Doris-Ann Williams, for services to the healthcare industry for her time as Director-General of the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association.

Jonathan Moor of Beaconsfield was made a CBE, as was Sara Thornton, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.