A CITY councillor who has worked tirelessly for the Coventry community has been made an MBE in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Coun David Skinner, who has represented the Westwood ward since 2006, previously served at the RAF Tangmere – the Central Planning Branch of the Royal Air Force before becoming a Foreign (now Diplomatic) Service officer.
In that role he worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he met his wife Sheila, Bahrain – Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria and Hanover and Bonn in Germany.
Coun Skinner, who has five married children and five grandchildren, grew up in South London during the Second World War and recalls attending school lessons in an Anderson Shelter and slept under a Morrison Shelter table at night.
He said: “I learned the great importance of security and that led to me wanting to serve in HM Forces or HM Diplomatic Service.
“I encountered much human suffering in places where I served and believe in strong intelligence services.”
He attained a BSc (First-Class Honours) in Economics, Politics and History from the Open University and an MA in International Studies from Warwick University.
Coun Skinner, who now uses crutches due to a disability as a long-term result of his overseas service, said if he had made a career in the RAF he would never have met Coventry-born Sheila.
She had previously served in South Africa and when Coun Skinner retired from his diplomatic role, they chose Coventry as their home where Sheila is in constant touch with long-standing friends.
He is very proud to hold three Queen’s Commissions and is a Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinator for Westwood where he lives.
Coun Skinner said it was a great honour to be a councillor in such a diverse and important city.
“There is so much to learn and I know that much good work is done by many residents, especially at this difficult time of Covid-19.”