Two senior and two retired councillors, from the Borough Council of Wellingborough have received a civic honour in recognition of their commitment to the local community.
George Blackwell, Shashi Dholakia, Cllr Tom Partridge-Underwood and Cllr Malcolm Waters were awarded the distinction of Honorary Freeman at a special meeting of the council on Friday 29 March 2019.
Honorary Freeman is awarded to current and previous councillors of the borough council in recognition of their eminent services to the borough, local government and local organisations under section 249 of the Local Government Act.
The four gentlemen received a unique scroll from the Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Ward to commemorate the honour, and as Honorary Freeman will be granted the historic special permissions to walk their sheep through the town.
To be granted the title of Honorary Freeman is a mark of distinction upon the person whom the Council wishes to honour. The Freedom itself carries no privilege and is purely an honour, reflecting the eminence of the person on whom it is conferred or as recognition of significant and valuable services rendered to the city or borough by that person. It is normally an honour or award to men or women of note who have lived or worked in the Borough, and who are proud to be a part of the Borough's history by becoming freemen.
George Blackwell, said: “It was my privilege to represent Earls Barton the place where I was born and have lived for a large part of my life on the County Council, the Borough Council, and the Earls Barton Parish Council for more than 40 years.”
Shashi Dholakia, said: “I am so thrilled and amazed at this very great honour being given to me - the Freedom of my Town - Wellingborough where I have spent 52 years of my life. This is an award not only for me but for my family, friends and the community at large. I would like to thank the Council for this honour."
Cllr Tom Partridge-Underwood, said: “It has always been my joy to serve the public. I would like to say thank you to The Borough Council of Wellingborough for bestowing this great honour on me. I’ve seen many changes in local government and no doubt we shall see many more, each change will be met with hope and opportunity.”
Cllr Malcolm Waters, said: “It is a great privilege to have been nominated to receive the title Honorary Freeman of the Borough. I have served this Borough since its 1983.
Over this time I have served on all the main committees and chaired many of them. I have been Chairman of the Waendal Walk for many years, a role I thoroughly enjoy.
“I have been Mayor of the Borough of Wellingborough twice. First time in 1994 -1995 and more recently 2016-2017. Having lived in Wellingborough for over 60 years I will always feel a great connection to the Borough of Wellingborough, and its residents. I like nothing more than meeting with the people and making them smile. Thank you everyone for giving me the opportunity and I humbly accept the Honour in recognition of my service to the Borough of Wellingborough.”