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Declaration of interests
Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
Section 249(5) of the Local Government Act 1972 provides that the Council may, by resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the members voting thereon at a meeting of the Council specially convened for the purpose, admit to be an Honorary Freeman / Freewoman of the Borough persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to the borough.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Mike Johnson has nominated Councillor Alan Smith for appointment as an Honorary Freeman of the Borough and Councillor Marion Fitzgerald for appointment as an Honorary Freewoman of the Borough.
The Council is asked to consider and pass the following resolution:
‘That Council resolves that pursuant to the powers granted to the Council by Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, that Councillor Alan Smith and Councillor Marion Fitzgerald be admitted as Honorary Freeman and Freewoman of the Borough of Allerdale, each being persons of distinction that have also, in the opinion of the Authority, rendered eminent services to our area’.
The Mayor of Allerdale welcomed Councillors and guests to the meeting and invited Councillor M Johnson to address Council.
Councillor M Johnson proposed that Allerdale Borough Council, in pursuance of the provisions of Section 249(5) of the Local Government Act 1972, confers the title of Honorary Freewoman of the Borough upon Councillor Marion Fitzgerald and Honorary Freeman of the Borough upon Councillor Alan Smith.
He continued ‘Councillor Marion Fitzgerald first joined the Council in 2013. In that time, she has been part of multiple committees, helped to implement new cutting-edge services, worked with council officers to create more efficient workstreams, and also spent time as Leader of the Council.
In her time as a Councillor, the most important thing has always been to ensure that the residents of her Ward are fully represented at Borough level and that everything possible is done to ensure that there is a strong two-way connection with Allerdale Borough Council.
Marion has been on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, briefly on the Audit Committee, the Development Panel from time to time, and the Executive Committee for the past four years, with a brief spell as Leader in 2019. Since then, Marion has been Deputy of the Council for the past three years. At these meetings, Marion has ensured that the voice of our local residents has been heard and respected’.
Councillor M Johnson said of Councillor A Smith ‘The role of Freeman is for someone who, as we’ve heard tonight, is a person of distinction and who has rendered eminent services to the borough. I very much believe Alan fits that description. I can appreciate the commitment and work that Alan must have put into his eight years as Leader. I believe he is the only Leader of Allerdale Borough Council to win two consecutive terms.
Perhaps the lasting legacy of Alan’s time as Leader is the new sports centre in Workington. Even though it is now a few years since it opened it remains an exceptionally modern and attractive building, which has proved immensely popular with local residents.
Alan has been a councillor at Allerdale for almost 28 years having been first elected in a by-election in 1995. In that time, he has not only been Leader, but also served on the Audit Committee, Workington Town Centre Task Group, Derwent Valley Task Group, Nuclear Issues Task Group, Carnegie Theatre Task Group, Licensing Committee, Development Panel, Standards Committee and Chief Officers Employment Panel. He was Mayor of Allerdale from 2000 to 2001. That is a very extensive list and testimony to Alan’s commitment to the council and serving the people of Allerdale.
Alan has been on Cockermouth Town Council for many years and I know he is a popular and very recognisable face in the town. I’m sure many of you can remember Alan out on the streets in 2009 and again in 2015 helping those who had been flooded clean up their homes and rebuild their lives’.
Councillor Johnson said ‘I therefore have no hesitation in nominating both Cllr Alan Smith and Cllr Marion Fitzgerald to be honoured as Freeman and Freewoman of the Borough of Allerdale. They thoroughly deserve the recognition for their time in office and commitment and service to the people of Allerdale’.
The motion was seconded by Councillor T Markley.
A vote was taken on the motion, 32 in favour, 0 against and 1 abstention.
The motion was carried.
The Mayor offered congratulations on behalf of the Council and the people of the Borough of Allerdale and presented certificates bearing the official seal of the Council.
Both the Honorary Freewoman and the Honorary Freeman addressed the meeting and thanked the Council for bestowing them the honour.
That Allerdale Borough Council, in pursuance of the provisions of Section 249(5) of the Local Government Act 1972, hereby conferred the title of Honorary Freewoman of the Borough upon Councillor Marion Fitzgerald and Honorary Freeman of the Borough upon Councillor Alan Smith.