Royal honour for life-saving councillor

Councillor Derek Burnett has been awarded the British Empire Medal.
Councillor Derek Burnett has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Life-saving volunteering stalwart Councillor Derek Burnett has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Coun Burnett, aged 68, of Lancelot Drive, Watnall, has been given the honour for services to the community in Nottinghamshire.

The retired police officer is also the deputy Mayor of Broxtowe Borough Council, as well as Conservative member for Watnall and Nuthall west .

He said: “It is a wonderful gesture – I feel on top of the world.”

His contribution and commitment to a number of voluntary organisations has made a huge difference to his community.

For the past 11 years he has been a volunteer case worker, county treasurer, training officer and prison-in-reach worker for the Nottingham branch of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association.

He is responsible for the branch funds totalling about £400,000 a year, visiting prisons and assisting events to raise the profile of SSAFA. Coun Burnett has also taken on the responsibility of being the co-ordinator for Nuthall area First Responders, training volunteers and fundraising for equipment.

Since 2011 he has been a voluntary community first sesponder with the East Midlands Ambulance Service .

Hehas donated about 9,000 hours in the last four years and has responded to more than 1,500 emergency incidents.

He saved Spinney Wood from being sold for housing and created an area benefitting wildlife and the local community.

He attends the Nuthall West, Greasley and Watnall Ward community action team meetings helping to resolve issues.

He was also a member of Nuthall Parish Council and served as chairman.