A community stalwart has been named Parish Councillor of the Year at a national awards ceremony.
Chris Brown, a member of Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards Parish Council, has played a leading role in the formation of a good neighbours group, focussing on older people and those living alone who might have become isolated, and was the driving force behind a pub lunch club, a winter car scheme to ensure people are able to get to hospital in bad weather, exercise sessions for locals and the setting up of computer literacy courses.
He also secured grants for young people at the local cricket club and toddlers group and was instrumental in the campaign for superfast broadband in the rural parish, which culminated in fibre cabling and equipment being installed by BT Openreach in March.
Chris, who has served on the parish council for the last 17 years, becoming vice chairman in 2001, won the national honour at the Local Government Information Unit’s (LGiU’s) Councillor Achievement Awards 2016, held on Tuesday, November 1.
It followed his nomination by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Noel Brown.
Chris said: “I’m genuinely surprised but appreciative of this recognition of what parish and town councillors can achieve. You can make a difference and improve things by making little adjustments or helping small groups of people. That for me is the motivation for being a local councillor.”
In a triple success for Buckinghamshire’s local councillors, Derek Lacey of Chesham Town Council was awarded an Honourable Mention while Vicki Smith of West Wycombe Parish Council also made the final shortlist.
Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, Martin Tett, said: “Congratulations to Chris on winning this award. He is a shining example of how parish and town councillors can have a huge impact in their communities. In particular, his work tackling social isolation in a rural location has improved the quality of life for a number of vulnerable residents.
“The fact that there were three local councillors on the shortlist is testament to the strong community spirit that exists in Buckinghamshire – we’re fortunate to have so many capable people stepping up to the plate and making a difference where they live.”