Ribble Valley Council building surveyor and emergency planning officer retires after 50 years
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Chris Shuttleworth has retired after clocking up 50 years’ service at the council, during which time he gained national recognition for his work.
Chris started working for the then Clitheroe Borough Council in 1972 as an assistant building inspector after training as a joiner in the family construction firm, obtaining an HNC with distinction in Construction from Lancaster and Morecambe College.
He transferred to the newly-formed Ribble Valley Borough Council in 1974, where he worked as district building control officer and played a pivotal role in the construction of the council offices, Ribblesdale Pool and the £3.5million refurbishment of the Clitheroe Castle Museum in 2009.
After becoming a chartered surveyor, he joined the Institute of Fire Engineers, the Engineering Council and was appointed national president of the Institute of Building Control.
As well as being a director, international board member and fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, he has served on a number of government working groups, too.
Chris, who is also a member of the Lancashire Resilience Forum, where he is vice-chairman of the forum’s telecommunications group, said: “I started working at the council in the year of decimalisation, when building control applications were still processed by hand, but best practice in building control ethics was evident from the start and has remained so ever since.
“I have been privileged to always enjoy my work, coming into work every day with a spring in my step and a sparkle in my eye, and am delighted to say that I have almost always gone home in the same frame of mind.
“I would like to thank colleagues and councillors for their friendship, camaraderie and resilience over 50 years of continuous service, which for my part has brought fulfilment and pride.”
Alison Brown, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee, said: “Chris is one-of-a-kind, whose dedication to building control and emergency planning has been exemplary.
“His 50 years of service to the residents of Ribble Valley is a tremendous achievement and he is a fantastic example of the dedication, care and effort that council employees put into making the borough a great place in which to live and visit.”
Gareth Pomford, communications and network manager for Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Chris has been instrumental in supporting the Lancashire Resilience Forum’s telecommunications sub-group for many years and his dedication has given the group one of the best resilience radio networks in the country.”
Gillian Darbyshire, flood resilience director for the Whalley and Billington Flood Action Group, said: “Chris has helped Whalley with emergency planning and health and safety advice for many years, particularly for Pickwick night, the Tour of Britain and of course the Boxing Day floods, for which he and Ribble Valley Borough Council offered massive support during a significant crisis.”
Following the Boxing Day floods, Chris and wife Heather were invited to a commendatory garden party at Buckingham Palace for emergency response workers.
During his retirement, Chris plans to take up a volunteer role offering radio network support to Lancashire Constabulary and will continue in his role as vice-chairman of the Lancashire Resilience Forum’s telecommunications group.