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Colin Winder receives Wincanton Town Council's Community Award for 2016

Wednesday 25 January 2017
By John Smith

Colin Winder being presented the Wincanton Town Council's Community Award for 2016 by Mayor Howard Ellard

Colin Winder, former Wincanton Town Councillor and Mayor, has been presented with the Council's Community Award for an individual this year for his service to the community.

The award was presented by the current Mayor, Howard Ellard, at a civic reception in the Town Hall on Saturday 19th November 2016, following the Lantern Parade and the ceremony for the switching on of the Market Place Christmas tree lights.

This year is the first in which the Town Council has given two awards; one to a group and another to an individual. This year's group award was given to the Wincanton & District Gardeners' Association.

Colin was born and raised in Cumbria. After school he studied to become an architectural technologist, and over time he worked on several major projects including the Dounreay nuclear power station on the northern tip of Scotland.

In the late 60’s Colin and his family moved to live in North Cadbury where he met many active, community-minded people. After moving to Wincanton in 1983 Colin was quick to get involved, becoming part of a group that planned the Siftings Project with the goal of providing a safe venue for the young people of the town to meet together for fun and relaxation.

Colin was also involved in a plan to create a community centre for Wincanton. His group attempted to acquire a suitable venue in town. The possibilities included the Green Dragon, then the former Bees supermarket, and the old priory behind the Catholic Church, but complications prevented either coming to fruition.

Around that time the community was shocked by the closure of the old Memorial Hospital in Balsam Park. But what the community saw as a major blow to the town, Colin and his colleagues saw as a great opportunity, and they embarked on an ambitious plan to purchase and convert the former hospital into what is now the Balsam Centre.

Colin Winder and Jonquil Lowe at the launch of the Wincanton People's Plan

All this happened before Colin became a Town Councillor. He was co-opted onto the Town Council on 12th October 1998, serving till he stood down in November 2015. During this period Colin was also elected as chairman of the Council, serving as Mayor of Wincanton on three separate occasions.

Over the years he served on multiple Council committees. He helped develop and raise funds for the original Wincanton People’s Plan; a national initiative created to illustrate how the people of Wincanton wanted to see their town develop between then and the year 2028. Sadly the Plan was never used in the way it was intended, but has since been replaced by the Wincanton Neighbourhood Plan which is currently being developed by a group chaired by Colin.

Colin was also involved in the original town twinning scheme that led to Wincanton being twinned with Gennes Les Rosier in France, and Lahnau in Germany. The town has also become famous for being the only one in the world to be twinned with the fictional city of Ankh-Morpork from the books of Terry Pratchett, with its very own consulate at the Discworld Emporium on Wincanton's High Street.

Colin served as a governor of King Arthur's Community School for 8 years, and chairman of the Wincanton Chamber of Commerce and Trade for several years. He helped establish The Growing Space, currently organises an annual Christmas lunch for Wincanton's over-70’s, and is a trustee of Wincanton War Memorial Hall.

Colin still represents Wincanton as one of two District Councillors, representing the town at District Council meetings. He became a District Councillor in 2007.

Current Mayor of Wincanton, Howard Ellard, and all the Town Councillors thanked Colin for all his hard work on behalf of the people of Wincanton.

It's fair to say the Colin has truly been, and continues to be a pillar of our community.




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