Planning work leads to BEM for Uppingham’s Ron Simpson

Ron Simpson. Photo: Alan Walters.
Ron Simpson. Photo: Alan Walters.
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The driving force behind the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Ron Simpson, who is company secretary of Uppingham First and the principal author of the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan, was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to community planning.

Ron, 68, who lives in Uppingham, said he saw the award as recognition of the hard work done by a lot of people, rather than himself.

He said: “I think it’s the recognition of quite a lot of people working together and it is very nice to have that work recognised in this way.”

Ron found out he had been awarded the BEM a few weeks ago but in line with protocol, he kept it a closely guarded secret until the honours list was unveiled late on Friday.

He and his wife Margaret travelled to see their children over the weekend to share the news and celebrate.

Ron added: “My first thought when I found out was who nominated me and I still haven’t been able to find out.”

On the Uppingham First website, Ron paid tribute to the teamwork undertaken by the group’s Business and Neighbourhood Forums, the town council and Rutland County Council, which he said had led to this good news.

He added: “It has been a pleasure to work under the leadership of Robert Wills and Edward Baines and in partnership with Uppingham Town Mayors David Casewell and David Ainslie. The contribution of many community representatives and county council officers Brett Culpin and David Troy should also not be forgotten.”

In the citation, it said that Ron had been recognised for taking the neighbourhood plan through a referendum where it achieved a yes vote of 92 per cent from the local community.

He is a town councillor, resident and businessman. He has driven other initiatives which would otherwise not have come to fruition.

Further reading: Appeal against Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan is dismissed.