October 17, 2022 4.26 pm This story is over 19 months old

Honorary title to be revived for former South Kesteven councillors

It would show gratitude for community leaders’ years of service

A historic honour is set to be revived for retired South Kesteven councillors.

Esteemed former representatives could receive the title of Honorary Alderman or Alderwoman.

The ceremonial position would recognise those who have served for at least 12 years on South Kesteven District Council.

Alliance SK leader Councillor Ashley Baxter had previous suggested that the title should be conveyed on long-serving members who were unable to physically attend meetings any more.

A Constitution Committee meeting on Monday set out rules for how former councillors would be nominated.

“I proposed that the title could be solution for people who were unable to continue in the role as councillor due to ill health or other reasons,” Councillor Baxter said.

“It acknowledges gratitude for service over years or in some cases decades. People pour people lots of time, heartache and money into the role.

“It would be a reward for their commitment.

“It could also encourage councillors who are struggling to go on but don’t want to let their community down to step back. They can continue to hold the reputation of a councillor.”

It was previously suggested that the late Cllr Judy Smith could have received the honour | Photo: SKDC

After a person was nominated, party leaders and the council chairman would decide whether to grant the honour.

Aldermen wouldn’t receive any compensation or voting rights. They could attend civic events and processions where invited by the council.

There was debate at the meeting over how soon a person needed to be nominated after leaving office.

The draft proposal said within five years, although other members, including Councillor Ian Stokes, suggested that a longer period may be suitable.

The proposals will go before full council at a later date to decide.

The title dates back hundreds of years, although no longer has any legal meaning.

Grantham’s most famous historic alderman was Alfred Roberts, the father of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.