Wellingborough has four new Honorary Freemen of the borough.
Councillors Tom Partridge-Underwood, Malcolm Waters and retired councillors George Blackwell and Shashi Dholakia were given the civic honour at a special meeting on March 29th.
The foursome was recognised for commitment to the local community.
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.”
A spokesman for the council said: “To be granted the title of Honorary Freeman is a mark of distinction upon the person whom the Council wishes to honour. 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.”
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 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, 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.”
The four men were presented with a scroll by Mayor Cllr Malcolm Ward and as Honorary Freeman will be granted the historic special permissions to walk their sheep through the town.