Flags at Somerset Council buildings will be flown at half-mast today (2 August) as a mark of respect to former Councillor Derek Yeomans, who sadly passed away at the weekend.

Derek was elected to South Somerset District Council (Burrow Hill Ward), in 1999. And also to Somerset County Council in 2001, for Langport and Curry Rivel, serving as Chairman of the Somerset Waste Board and the Regulation Committee.

Standing down from the County Council after 16 years’ service, Derek continued with his work as a District Councillor at South Somerset where he sat on several committees, including as Chair of the Audit Committee.

Derek spent more than 40 years in the Merchant Navy, Fleet Air Arm, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary. He made Curry Rivel his home, where he looked after the interests of residents, as their parish councillor.

Somerset Council colleagues offer their sincere condolences to family and friends. And they pay tribute to their friend Derek, a man dedicated to duty, with a passion for public service and environmental issues.

Chair of Somerset Council, Councillor Mike Best said:

Derek Yeomans was a well-respected Councillor during his time in office who worked for his community and the greater good of Somerset.

I served with him for many years on South Somerset District Council especially on the Audit Committee and witnessed first-hand his great attention to detail and passion to get things right. This was recognised after he came off the Council and was brought back as an independent member of the committee to retain his knowledge and guidance.

Most of all I will miss his dry sense of humour and of course making sure he brought plenty of biscuits to his meetings!

He will be sadly missed in his community and our thoughts must go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.

Conservative Leader David Fothergill commented:

Derek was everything that a local representative should aspire to be.

He was deeply involved in his community, he fiercely stood up for his residents and he was willing to play a much wider role in the successful delivery of services across the County.

He brought energy, drive and passion to his many roles and was well respected by all he had dealings with.

He will be very sadly missed by his friends, family and all those who knew him.

Councillor Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset Council, added:

Derek Yeomans was a true gentleman who, as a Councillor, stood up for his community, where his dry wit and ‘panto’ performances will be so greatly missed.

He contributed to the wider work of the councils he served on, as Chair of Area North Committee at South Somerset District Council and, after he stepped down from the council, serving as the independent person on their Audit Committee. At Somerset County Council he was widely respected as Chair of the Regulation Committee.

Our sympathies go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.

Head and shoulders photo of Cllr Derek Yeomans

About this article

August 2, 2023

Rebecca Howat

Press Release