After 25 years working devotedly as Head of North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership Les Chapman is set to retire.
Les’s career in Building Control started at Ryedale District Council in 1978 where he was appointed as a Building Control Officer. Prior to this Les had been a plumber working in the local area.
In 1991 Les became Building Control Manager and proceeded to lead the way in transforming Local Authority Building Control Services. He has always been a great believer in Regional Building Control authorities working together and this led to him pioneering a formal working partnership and the creation of NYBCP in 2001, with the merging of Ryedale and Selby Council Building Control Departments. Les went on to expand the partnership area in the intervening years, to encompass Hambleton from 2007, Scarborough in 2008 and Richmondshire in 2010.
With Les’s leadership and innovation he has kept NYBCP ahead of the competition both locally and nationally and the partnership has developed and expanded to where it is today. Les has led a happy ship and is greatly respected by his colleagues. He has been a great advocate of developing people to reach their full potential and has always provided training opportunities across the whole team, which has in turn enhanced the service offered by the partnership.
During his career Les has acknowledged the benefit of awarding imaginative design and quality workmanship. Each year the Partnership holds its Building Excellence Awards. An event that has grown year on year into a very prestigious event.
Les has always gone out of his way to put in extra time and effort to help people in need and encourages others to do the same, this has shown particularly in his charity work.
Since May 1998 Les has been a part of the Malton and Norton Rotary who are well known locally for the support they give to charities and individuals who are in need. He has dressed up as Father Christmas, organised a local bonfire for Malton and Norton and provided financial support to flood victims on behalf of Rotary.
In 1995 Les and four other colleagues took part in RIFRAF – Ryedale Inspectors for Romania Appeal Fund. All five colleagues worked tirelessly in Romania for 2 weeks, carrying out repairs to a Health Centre, School and the creation of a playground. This involved a large amount of fund raising as well as organisation and preparation.
For several years he sat on the Board of the Governing Body at Malton School.
Les has also been influential in selecting a charity to benefit each year from the Building Excellence Awards event.
In recent years Les has played an integral part in co-ordinating and assisting during the dramatic floods in the Ryedale area. As well as being regularly involved in incidents outside normal working hours, across North Yorkshire, Les has played a key advisory role in assessing the safety of buildings following dangerous incidents that may pose a threat to buildings and possibly the public.
Les’s successor Robert Harper will take the reigns from September as the new Head of North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership. Rob has worked alongside Les for a long period of time and is very well placed to continue to develop and grow NYBCP.
As well as his long standing role with Rotary Les is a keen theatre goer and is always involved in some form of DIY. He intends to travel as much as he can, with a family holiday planned to Florida in the autumn and we are certain that he will have a list of jobs to keep him occupied!
I’m sure you will all join us in bidding Les a fond farewell as he starts a new chapter of his life and wish him a long and happy retirement.