MAYOR of Test Valley, Ian Carr has become a Member of the British Empire for his services to local government and the community in the borough of Test Valley.

The former leader of Test Valley Borough Council said he was “chuffed to bits” after receiving the letter in the post.

Cllr Carr stepped down as leader of the council last year, a post he had held for the past 18 years.

Currently, for the second time in his career, he is also the mayor of the borough.

Speaking of his joy at receiving the award, he said it was something he ‘never expected’.

Cllr Carr said: “I had a letter through the post and it had the word ‘cabinet’ all over it.

“I either thought I was in trouble or it was an award!

“I’ve been in local government long enough to know what those letters look like.

“I am absolutely chuffed to bits with it. It has been horrible and painful keeping it from my closest family, friends and colleagues.”

As well as his services to Test Valley, the councillor has also been awarded for his services to local government as a whole, something he said made him feel proud.

Cllr Carr added: “It is a proud feeling for me.

“I have been in this career for many years and you never quite know if you are doing a good job or not, despite what people may be telling you.”