New Year's Honours 2014 Jim Lewis BEM
James (Jim) Lewis BEM has been made a Medallist of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours 2014 for his exemplary service to bereaved people in the City of Liverpool over the past 26 years as Chief Clerk of the Coroner’s Court.
Jim has had a career in public service as a local government officer since 1968. He has just completed forty-five years of selfless service working for the people of Liverpool at Liverpool City Council apart from ten years when Merseyside County Council existed. It is known from his colleagues in Liverpool City Council that before he came to the coroner’s office he had the same dedication to serve the public.
Jim is the most unassuming and modest gentleman that I have ever met. He is a true leader without any authoritarian hint. The service has always put the bereaved families and those affected by sudden and unexpected death at the centre of the investigation and inquest process. This is achieved by networking with health, emergency, and investigative public authorities whilst engaging with charities and other in the third sector that support the bereaved. Jim’s organizational skills are such that this has all happened for the benefit of bereaved people.
Jim was a pioneer in coroner’s offices nationally with regard to using information technology databases to drive efficiency and productivity improvements in the service delivered.
Jim was graded as a senior officer scale 2 within the local authority and yet he reports to local authority management meetings where all the other service heads are middle range principal officers. He never complains about pay or conditions as his commitment is to public service.
Over the years Jim has had direct contact with thousands of bereaved people not only does he support and help them but in spite of his heavy complex workload he mentors and supports other professionals in caring for the bereaved.
Coroners’ service only ever has contact with the public when stress levels and emotions are running high. Jim is in the front line serving the public. In spite of their angst, upset and distress families are only ever complimentary as to the care they received from him.
Jim's work is selfless and enthusiastic and his labours have enabled and empowered the bereaved loved ones in the City and beyond to move along the healing process so as to better understand their loss and to get on with their own lives. His work is quiet and efficient and yet invaluable and an immeasurable service to his fellow Citizens. The quality of life in the City is better as a result of his work. He is the personification of the Nolan Criteria for standards in public life, a leading light and an example for all to follow.
The Coroners’ Society of England and Wales send him and his family our hearty congratulations.