New honorary freemen planned for Wellingborough

Swanspool House, Wellingborough.
Swanspool House, Wellingborough.

Wellingborough Council is planning to create four new honorary freemen of the borough.

The authority has come up with the idea ahead of the planned closure of the borough council in 2020 to make way for a new unitary authority.

A report to go before next week’s full council meeting on Tuesday (July 17) says: “Given the potential for local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire, and with it the likely retirement of a number of existing councillors who have served in office for many years, council may wish to review whether to extend that informal agreement to six (or some other number).

“This would admit four new honorary freemen in addition to the two currently in office.”

The authority’s managing director Liz Elliott will have the responsibility of deciding who is given the honour and will consult leader Cllr Martin Griffiths and leader of the opposition Cllr Andrew Scarborough.

The cost of creating the four new honorary freemen will be £8,000.

The cost is made up of £1,200 for each award, which covers a scroll, entry into official records and signwriting in the freedom of the borough award.

The rest will go towards a ‘modest reception’ being held after the special council ceremony bestowing honorary freeman status to the chosen four.

The costs will be met from the council’s reserves.

As part of the honour those chosen will be able to attend full council meetings, the annual meeting of the council, the civic service, the Remembrance Day service and parade, freedom ceremonies, civic funerals and celebratory or commemorative events.

The appointments will be made during this financial year.