COMMUNITY champion Gil Streets, who gave his all to the people of Beaminster and west Dorset, has died aged 82.

In typical style, one of his last acts before his death at Dorset County Hospital was to write a letter praising the dedication and hard work of the ‘wonderful’ team who cared for him in the ICU. The letter, posted on the Facebook page of Beaminster Youth Club, an organisation which he helped to save when funding was cut last year, was shared more than 100 times.

Family and friends described Gil as a "generous, practical and highly respected" man, who served as a town, district and county councillor over the years.

He moved to Beaminster with wife Ngaire in 1988 after visiting the town on a trip to see furniture at Parnham House. Ngaire said they both "fell in love" with west Dorset.

Soon after moving to the area, Gil was asked to stand as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Dorset County Council elections. He gained the seat from the Conservative party and remained in the post for 12 years.

Ngaire said her husband was a "friend to everybody."

Gil was born in 1934 in the Lincolnshire Wolds, and studied metallurgy at Imperial College, London.

He was awarded the MBE for services to industrial relations while working for the Foreign Office in Gibraltar.

Earlier this year he was elected an Honorary Townsperson by Beaminster Town Council, in recognition of the significant contributions he has made to the life and well-being of the town.

Cllr Chris Turner, chairman of the town council and a close friend of Gil, said: “He was very highly regarded. A low key character in many ways, but one of those people who, if someone asked him to help with something he would, if at all possible, roll up his sleeves and give a hand with whatever was needed.

“He was a very generous, practical person and a friend to many. A lot of people thought very highly of him, and still do.”

A minute’s silence was held at a town council meeting to remember him.

Gil is survived by Ngaire, two children, Judith and Marcus, and two grandchildren, Mathilda and Gabriel. His funeral was held at Higher Ground Meadow, Underhill Farm Corscombe on Thursday, December 14, followed by a reception in the public hall in Fleet Street, Beaminster.