NEW Forest District Council celebrated its 40th birthday last Tuesday, with a cake for some of its longest-serving staff.

The council was formed on April 1, 1974, nearly a year after the council’s longest-serving councillor, Alan Rice, was elected to the former New Forest Rural District Council.

He has served uninterrupted ever since, currently as the member for Bashley District ward. The new district council was formed with the merging of the New Forest, Ringwood and Fordingbridge Rural Districts and the Lymington Borough Councils.

Councillor Rice’s 40 years of uninterrupted service is matched by staff members John Drodge and Dave Cantillon, who joined the council in 1973.

The council has put together 40 facts to celebrate, such as that in population terms, it is the second largest district council in England serving approximately 176,000 residents.

To read more facts you may not have known about the council, visit