ber of Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES). Currently the Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport, he served as Chairman from 16th May 2013 to 8th May 2014. During this time, he raised £11,000 for five charities, and attended some 500 events across the district. He had previously been elected Vice-Chairman on 10th May 2012, and Chairman-elect on 19th February 2013. He has served overall as a Member since 3rd May 2007. (Some 600 events as Vice-Chair/Chair/Past Chair.)
Neil represents Bathavon South ward which includes the villages of Freshford, Hinton Charterhouse, Midford (most of), Monkton Combe, Shoscombe, South Stoke - where he lives, and Wellow. He is a member of the Liberal Democrat Party, and has lived here since 2004. Previously, he had served as a Thamesdown/Swindon [from 1997] Borough councillor (St Margaret Ward: 1982-86, and Lawns Ward: 1995-2000) for a total of nine years; he also served for 12 years as a parish councillor (Wanborough and Covingham Parish Councils - 1976-88). He was Chairman of Wanborough Parish Council in 1980-81, and the first-ever Chairman of Covingham Parish Council, when it was established independently from Wanborough, in 1983-4. He was the only Liberal/Liberal Democrat to represent St Margaret Ward, and the first non-Conservative to represent Lawns Ward.
B&NES is a unitary authority - ie: it covers the functions of both a district and a county council, including planning, transportation, social services and education. Neil publicises his activities as a councillor through the FOCUS newsletter. In addition however he communicates with large numbers of people in his ward through e-mail, sending out items of interest on an almost daily basis. If you live in the ward, are interested in local news, and would like to be added to this list please write to him at CllrNeilButters@aol.com.
He frequently attends local parish council meetings, when time permits. "It is good to see first-hand what goes on in your ward if you want to help your residents", Neil says.
He is a Member of both the Communities, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel and the Employment Committee, and a Reserve Member of both the Development Management and Licensing Committees. [His role when Chairman included the Chairmanship of the Parishes Liaison Committee.]
He had previously served as a Member of the Wellbeing Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel, Development Control Committee, and the World Heritage Enhancement Fund Committee.
Outside appointments on behalf of Council:
* Avon Fire Authority
* Local Government Group Rural Services Network.
By profession, Neil was a career railway manager until his retirement on 31st March 2013 - having worked at almost all levels of the industry, in various locations. He began with a holiday job at Kensington Olympia in 1966 (Motorail services). In 1970, after various other jobs - in London and Birmingham - whilst a student, he joined full-time as a Traffic Management Trainee at Bristol - the only one in BR Western Region's West of England Division (Penzance to Bromsgrove/Swindon). His many subsequent jobs have included: Assistant Area Manager at Swindon; TOPS (Total Operations Processing - computer - System) national implementation team - and, later, Western Region manager; Western Region Management Services Assistant (based Reading); Personnel Research, Policy Unit, British Railways Board; Management Development & Training Officer, Freightliner; Overseas/Senior Training Consultant, Transmark; Development/Commercial Manager and Deputy Head, The Grove Management Centre, Watford (now a five-star hotel); and Heritage Officer for the British Railways Board.
He attended Magdalen College School, Brackley, Northamptonshire - then a state boarding Grammar school.
He holds a London University BA in Psychology, Law & Economics - for which he studied externally at Portsmouth College of Technology (now University), a post-graduate Diploma in Personnel Management from the University of Aston in Birmingham - for which he was awarded an SSRC Bursary, and an MBA in Business Development from City University Business School. He is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He also holds a Cambridge University CELTA Certificate (English Language Teaching - Adults), for which he studied at Bath College; and a University Certificate from the University of Bath. At Portsmouth, he became President of the Psychology Society, Treasurer and then Secretary of the Liberal Society, and a member of the Cultural Committee.
He has also served on a number of secondments - to a local enterprise agency: Assistant Director, Bath Enterprise Ltd, Green Park Station; a university: MSc Transport & Logistics Management Programme Director and Visiting Fellow, Salford; a professional institution: PA to President, Chartered Institute of Transport; and the Corporation of Lloyd's: Recruitment Consultant.
He has served as an External Examiner for both Middlesex and Kingston Universities; and as a Governor of Dorcan School - Swindon, and Ralph Allen School - Bath.
He served as Chairman of the Old Town Festival in Swindon during 2003-4, immediately prior to his move to Bath - providing entertainment, and raising money for charity.
From 1998 to 2013 he served as Secretary to the (Great Britain-wide) Railway Heritage Committee, a statutory body sponsored by the Department for Transport. (The Railway Heritage Committee has now been superseded by the Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board, reporting to the Trustees of the Science Museum Group.) From 2006, he worked (full-time) partly from home and partly from an office in Bristol - Temple Quay House, also the headquarters of the Planning Inspectorate. [Note that the role of the Railway Heritage Committee was to 'designate' significant railway records and moveable artefacts - anything from a painting to a High Speed Train - and ensure their long-term preservation. It was not to be confused with the Railway Heritage Trust, which deals with buildings and other structures.]
From July 2014 he has served as a Member of the Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board.
Since 2011 he has served as an Officer of the Heritage Railway Association - and, as such, was appointed one of two Co-secretaries of a new All Party Parliamentary Group for Heritage Rail until taking up his Council Chairman duties in 2013.
In 1993, he produced and published a Historical Transport Map of Wiltshire.
His first wife Sheila died in 2002. He married his present wife Charlotte Moore, a local artist (studied at Chelsea and Falmouth Colleges of Art), in 2005 at the Roman Baths. Charlotte, who exhibits regularly and is a Committee Member of the Bath Society of Artists, painted three of King Bladud's pigs for 2008, a baby elephant for London's 2010 'Elephant Parade', a lion for the 'Lions of Bath' 2010, and a swan for 'Swans of Wells' 2012 http://www.swansofwells.com/p/inspiration.html.
Charlotte and Neil are both qualified Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. Neil has little time for teaching himself these days, but helps as best he can - especially with Business English.
Neil and Charlotte (who was born in Brisbane, Australia, and also came to England at two years' old - see below) have five children between them, all grown-up.
His particular interests locally are similar to those of his well-known predecessor Gitte Dawson MBE:
Neil is always keen to hear from residents - with problems he might help you solve, or just suggestions as to how things could be done better. He, with help from Gitte and others, publishes an occasional local newsletter - FOCUS (see above) - to keep residents informed. If you would like to read the latest one, you may download it from the bottom of this page. If you could help deliver FOCUS in your road, Neil would be very pleased to hear from you. Also, as mentioned above, he keeps in touch on an almost daily basis with many people in his ward by e-mail; please let him know if you would like to join his general news list.
You can contact Neil on –
Tel: 01225 832256
His postal address is –
Bath BA2 7DN
Further background details: Neil (full name Trelawny Neilson Butters) came to England from Durban, South Africa - where he was born - just before he was two years' old. His parents had both been born in India, although they had met in London. He has lived in many parts of the Midlands (Cheltenham, Banbury area, Brackley, Birmingham), London (South Kensington, Battersea, Putney), and the South (Worthing, Winchester, Portsmouth/Gosport, Bristol, Swindon area). He has one sister, who lives in Mantua, Italy. Their mother died when he was 12, his sister 7- further to which they were brought up in a one-parent family.
A great uncle, Francis Neilson (formerly Francis Neilson Butters), was Liberal MP for Hyde, Cheshire, from 1910-16. He resigned to publish a book critical of the First World War.
Neil has travelled widely: all over Europe; USA (four times); Australia (five times) and New Zealand; southern Africa; Central and South America - including Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay; Palestine and Jordan; India and Nepal; and the Far East - including Tibet, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan.