A LONG-serving councillor has been awarded an MBE for his services to the community in North Yorkshire.

Peter Sowray, 78, from Helperby, near Thirsk, has been a public servant for almost 60 years working on behalf of farmers' organisations.

He was elected as a councillor for North Yorkshire County Council in 1989 where he specialised in issues of the infrastructure of the county.

He was a member of the Highways Committee in 1993 and chairman of the County Planning Committee.

He chaired the new Environmental Services Committee, a role he held until the year 2000 and then became the Executive Member for Business and Environmental Services.

He said: "I'm absolutely chuffed to bits. I have served the community since my time with the NFU, and before that with Young Farmers' Association.

"I'm very proud of helping communities to get flood defences in Malton, Ripon and Pickering."

Mr Sowray fundraised and gained £182,000 lottery grant to help build Helperby Millennium Village Hall which is now used for many community groups.