A NEW road has been named after a man who became the first person to be awarded the freedom of a Hampshire town.

Neville Chard, a member of Ringwood Town Council for 43 years, died aged 88 in May last year after a lifetime of public service.

His political career began in 1970 when he joined the former Ringwood and Fordingbridge Rural District Council.

Three years later he became one of the first members of the new New Forest District Council, remaining on the authority until 1987.

He joined Ringwood Town Council in 1973 and was chairman three times.

In 2010 he became the first and so far only person to be made an Honorary Freeman of Ringwood.

He was also renowned for his 65-year association with Bisterne United Football Club, playing as a young man before serving as club secretary for more than half-a-century.

He worked as a postman in the town for a similar length of time.

Now one of the roads in the Beaumont Park development being built by Linden Homes has been named Chard Lane.

Neville’s partner, Jenny Bursey, his daughter, Sarah Layzell, and his five-year-old grandson Lincoln were invited to unveil the new road sign.

Jenny said: “Neville would be absolutely delighted that a road has been named after him in the town he loved.

“It’s great to see the sign so prominent just off the main road. Those who knew Neville will drive past and see it – it’s a great way to keep his memory alive.”

Joining Neville’s family at the ceremony were Ringwood mayor, Cllr Tony Ring, members of the town council, and representatives from developers Linden Homes. South.

o Dixon, the company’s marketing manager, said: “It felt very fitting to name a new road in honour of such an influential figure in the community.”

The honour was granted in recognition of his long and outstanding service to the people of the town.

Neville left the town council in May 2015 and was given a standing ovation by fellow members.