THE former Mayor of Chard, Cllr Jill Shortland, last week received her OBE from the Princess Royal at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Cllr Shortland, who represents Chard on Somerset County Council, was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year in recognition of her services to local government.

She stood down from Chard Town Council after 20 years’ service at this year’s local elections and told the News she was humbled by the award.

But Cllr Shortland and her family were very proud on Thursday when she travelled to Windsor Castle to be presented with the OBE.

As well as her lengthy service to the town council, Cllr Shortland has also served as leader on both South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council.

It was as leader at County Hall between 2007-09 that her effort and commitment saw the county council become one of the most successful and best rated authorities in England. During that period she also served as chairman of the South West Regional Assembly.

Yeovil MP David Laws said: “Jill has played a significant role in the local community, both as a councillor and also as a very active citizen.

“Jill first got involved in politics through her campaigning, many years ago, for a pre-school in the Chard area.

“The OBE honour is hugely deserved. Since being first elected, Jill has worked tirelessly for residents in Somerset and the award is truly fitting for her and her family. I am immensely proud of her.”