The title of Honorary Freeman is the highest honour that a Council of a City or Town can bestow, and, in the view of many, should not be given freely.
At a meeting of the Town Council on 11 April 2023, Town Councillor’s unanimously agreed to grant the title of Biddulph’s first ‘Honorary Freeman’ to retiring Councillor Tony Hall, in recognition of over 50 years service to the people of Biddulph.
Councillor Hall became a Councillor in 1967 and was the first Mayor of Biddulph Town Council in 1974.
Prior to the special meeting, which had been called to make the award, Councillor Tony Hall spoke about his role as Councillor:
‘It is time when I must offer my thanks to the many who have supported me during these many years and to the electorate of the north ward of Biddulph, the ward that it has been my privilege to service as a Councillor.
Today my thanks go to my colleagues on both sides of the divide… not a bad bunch, as by and large our activities have been based on policies to benefit Biddulph, irrespective of party allegiances.
My thanks go to our staff, our greatest asset, led by Sarah our Chief Officer and her team. Our success as a Town Council is largely down to them, and I am sure that the management of the town is in safe hands going forward.
I will of course miss it, but I am sure Tess and I will find something to do!
It is to Tess that I owe special thanks. She too has had to live with meeting after meeting and she has supported me all the way year after year.
Finally, I wish all of you standing in the forthcoming elections the best of fortune. And to all of you, it has been a pleasure working with you.’
The Town Council issued a scroll to mark the occasion, and will create a tablet in the Council Chamber to recognise the role.