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In the Dorset town of Beaminster Cllr Gil Streets enacted Liberal Democracy: let us not forget that.

News reaches us that former Cllr Gil Streets of Dorset has passed away. Now let’s make myself clear – I wasn’t close to him, but we met several times, I heard his advice and I learnt from him. But thinking back I realised that Gil for me illustrated a political philosophy that was why I joined the Liberal Democrats and I felt that his death for me should not be allowed to slip past without comment.

Gil was not a household name for Liberal Democrats but he was significant – he was part of a generation of campaigners who emerged from the Grimond rebirth of liberalism in the 1960’s. Indeed Gil and his generation went further and he was one of the many who provided the base, the foundation and indeed I would suggest the heart that give the newly formed and merged Liberal Democrats life. Indeed if Gil knew I was writing this he would be at best amused and probably a bit embarrassed.

But he represented Beaminster for years on the Town Council, West Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council, was an active community politician and got things done. That was his objective – getting things done – and he was successful, so successful that he was honoured with becoming an Honorary Townsperson of Beaminster. He had previously been awarded an MBE for his work on Industrial Relations in Gibraltar. The list of Gil’s achievements for his community was long: newspaper reports cite his work securing Christmas Lights, local celebratory beacons for Royal commemorations, as a governor at the local school, activist within the local museum and of course the youth club  – all this as well as being a West Dorset District and Dorset County Councillor and this doesn’t even mentioned the potholes and street lights he got fixed.

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