‘Team effort’ says Noon of OBE award

‘Team effort’ says Paul Noon on being awarded an OBE

Paul Noon, who retired as Prospect's general secretary on December 31, has been awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours.

Noon, who spent 14 years in the union's lead role, received the honour for his services to employment relations and sustainable development.

Alongside his work for Prospect, Noon was the TUC general council's lead on energy and the environment and co-chair of the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee with Defra Minister Lord Henley.

He also represented the TUC on the Green Economy Council, a body bringing together government representatives from three departments with industry and the third sector to support the transition to a green, low-carbon economy.

"I was surprised and pleased to get this honour, particularly as it recognises our work on sustainable development as well as industrial relations," Noon said. "I think it reflects Prospect's leading position in this area over the last decade rather than just my personal contribution."

He said he believed the award also recognised that "Prospect is an effective, professional union with a reach across all sectors of the economy."

Noon added: "Although I had the pleasure to be general secretary for nearly 14 years our progress has been very much a team effort involving lay reps at all levels as well as full-time officer colleagues."

He stressed that no aspect of his trade union life had been influenced in any way by the thought of honours. "My motivation has always been solely the collective and individual interests of members."

However, he quipped: "I am looking forward to going to the Palace to collect the OBE. Who knows, I might get to meet Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis or Bradley Wiggins!"

In an interview for December's Profile Noon's parting message for the union's reps was: "When I started off as a local rep I always saw it as a common endeavour. No union could survive without lay reps, however strong their full-time structures, and I salute the work you all do. It's been an honour to be your general secretary."

As for life after Prospect, Noon has accepted appointment as a vice-chair of Trade Union Fund Managers and has been asked to be a non-executive director of Unity Trust Bank. He also intends to spend more time with his family, including his new granddaughter Matilda.