News item

Praise for ‘legendary’ trading standards champion – Jacqui Kennedy OBE!

The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) today added its praise for 'legendary' colleague Jacqui Kennedy, who has been rewarded with an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

Among a host of initiatives to protect the vulnerable during 30 years of public service, Jacqui has over the last few years spearheaded the 'Stop Loan Sharks' illegal money lending team, which tackles loan sharks who prey on desperate people.

She was also a member of a strategy group that helped the Government to develop the National Alcohol Strategy, providing an invaluable practitioners' perspective and ensuring that the best practice developed in Birmingham was adopted nationwide.

Ron Gainsford, chief executive of TSI, said: 'All of us at TSI and in trading standards are tremendously proud of Jacqui and her achievements in protecting vulnerable consumers - not only in Birmingham but across the West Midlands region and the country.

'Her courage and endeavours with her trading standards colleagues in tackling loan sharks preying on those most in need is both extraordinary and now legendary.

'She is also a perfect role model for young people who may consider a career in regulatory services, having joined Birmingham City Council at the age of 16 and risen through the ranks to lead her department.

'Together with her officer and Elected Member colleagues in Birmingham City Council, the Institute and the Society of Chief Trading Standards Officers, which she chairs, congratulate Jacqui wholeheartedly on her richly-deserved OBE.'

This work included tackling illegal underage sales, successfully implementing the Licensing Act 2003 and using powers to curb street drinking, reducing crime and disorder and anti social behaviour.

Jacqui contributed to the 'Know Your Limits Campaign', an approach which started in Birmingham.

Also, over recent years, she has spearheaded campaigns addressing matters such as loan sharks, tackling financial exclusion and introducing a publicly accessible scoring system rating the hygiene of food serving establishments.

Speaking of her delight at the award, Jacqui said: 'I am thrilled and actually cannot believe it. I am honoured and very proud, as are my family.

'I think that this award recognises the key role Birmingham as a city has to play nationally and is a great acknowledgement of the key role local government has to play to deliver nationally. I also hope that this inspires others to choose a career in local government.'

Earlier this year Jacqui launched the first ever Birmingham Best Bar None Awards to celebrate excellence among the licensed trade in Birmingham. This celebrates the partnership working which Jacqui is so committed to.

Meanwhile the Birmingham Illegal Money Lending Team, which Jacqui manages, proved so successful that it has now been rolled out nationally with her team managing anti-loan shark activity and investigations on behalf of 90 plus local authorities across England.

Notes to editors

Jacqui Kennedy was born at Birmingham's City Hospital in 1962 and was brought up living in Aston, Alum Rock and Stechford.

She attended the Rosary Infants and Junior School and then Saltley Grammar School in Belchers Lane.

She left school at 16 and joined Birmingham City Council as an office junior in February 1979.

Married to a town planner, Jacqui is an avid Aston Villa supporter, which she says gives her an interesting perspective on life! She is also Chair of the West Midlands Crimestoppers Board.

Trading Standards Institute

The Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.

Our aim is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of empowering and informing consumers, encouraging and working with honest businesses, targeting rogue traders and rogue trading practices and contributing to the health, welfare and wellbeing of citizens and communities.

TSI members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities in response to 2 million consumer and business complaints and enquiries each year. They also support the delivery of new initiatives such as Consumer Direct, providing first point of contact practical consumer advice.

They also work in the business, consumer and central government sectors in promoting and influencing the safety, prosperity and enhancement of individuals and markets with a dependency on effective and professional trading standards contributions and interventions.