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Saturday, June 24, 2017

SCC Chairman’s Award - Chris Nelder

Chris Nelder

Receives the Somerset County Council Chairman’s Award for Service to the Community 

Back ground

Chris is a great-grandfather of 77, Mayor and Chair of Dulverton Town Council.

 Chris freely gives 50 to 60 hours a week of his own time listening to residents and ensuring that all the car parking, grounds, financial, and environmental services are working effectively for the people of Dulverton.

 Chris led the Parish Plan, and setup ‘Sensible Spending’, a nationally recognised pilot in community budgeting. He led the creation of four Action Groups involving 72 residents tackling the economic crisis afflicting the Library, Recycling Centre, Youth Club, and Car Parks.

 The Parish Plan he chaired recommended 24 developments to make Dulverton the best place possible to live, work, visit, and grow up in. In the three years since the Plan was published 16 of those recommendations have been actioned including a new playground, affordable housing, a gym, a fortnightly cinema, allotments and swimming.

 He worked with young people to create a lobby, featured on both major television channels, to save and promote recycling in the town. He works to help the Youth Club survive and shows visitors Dulverton's history with a tour of the town.

 Chris is also Chair of the Heritage Centre, and Chair of the Austin 10 Drivers Club. Among his responsibilities in Dulverton are the Cemetery and the Churchyard. Most recently he ensured vibrant community involvement for refurbishing the recreation ground, raising £24,000.

 He encourages business philanthropy, lends his own resources to new business start-ups, and has spent long hours creating the Heritage Railway Centre in the town, a working model of the halcyon days when trains came this way carrying workers and horses to and from Taunton and Barnstaple.

 Whether on the Council or not, Chris is the kind of social entrepreneur who makes a difference to their community, including others, and an example for townsfolk to follow. Chris has offered and delivered so much service to this community, for so long and to such effect, that he becomes a very worthy candidate for the Chairman’s Award.