THE chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council has been given an honorary degree by Oxford Brookes.

Joanna Simons received the award at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences ceremony yesterday.

She is one of a number of people to get the honorary degrees, which include Stephen Lawrence’s mother Baroness Doreen Lawrence, and Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel.

Miss Simons, who has been chief executive of the authority since 2005, said: “I feel absolutely honoured and thrilled to be recognised by the university. It means a lot to me, as chairman of governors in a day-to-day capacity with Brookes.

“Brookes is such a great resource of teachers, social workers, occupational therapists and the like and it contributes so much to the local economy and to Oxfordshire. To be here as well with the new building is really special.

“It was a big financial commitment but it is wonderful.”

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