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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 04/10/2004
HONORARY OFFICES OF THE COUNCIL



Summary & Purpose
This report covers the range of honorary offices available to Waverley which might be conferred to recognise eminent service to the Council.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
Negative
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A


APPENDIX J
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 4TH OCTOBER 2004
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Title:
HONORARY OFFICES OF THE COUNCIL
[Wards Affected: N/A]
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Summary and purpose:

This report covers the range of honorary offices available to Waverley which might be conferred to recognise eminent service to the Council.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A

E-Government implications:

There are no E-Government or environmental implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There would be some additional unbudgeted resource implications in conferring honorary offices, including officer time, member expenses in attending meetings and the cost of any scrolls or badges of office.
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Introduction

1. Waverley was granted the status of a Borough Council in 1984. From 1974 until then, its status was a District Council. Borough status gave the Council the power, in accordance with Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 (LGA 1972), to “admit to be honorary freeman of the Borough persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to the Borough”. The honour is intended for people who have not been Members of the Council.

2. The title is purely honorary and has only been granted once, to Michael Chastell, former Borough Secretary, on his retirement in 1998. Mr Chastell is invited to all major civic events and was presented with a scroll recording the grant of the honorary freedom.

3. The current Mayor has now raised the question of Waverley considering conferring the title of honorary alderman. His notice of motion to the July Council meeting was withdrawn, but the text was as follows:-

"Waverley should grant the Mayor as Civic Leader the privilege of nominating one person during their Mayoral year to receive the office of Honorary Alderman of the Borough, should the Mayor so wish".


Title of Honorary Alderman

4. District and Borough Councils can recognise past members’ “eminent service” by conferring the title of honorary alderman on former councillors. Again the title is purely honorary, but it is expected that they will “attend and take part in such civic ceremonies as the Council may from time to time prescribe” (LGA 1972).

Process of Conferring the Titles of Honorary Freeman and Honorary Alderman

5. Both honours have to be conferred by resolution of a Council meeting specially convened for the purpose, which has to be passed by not less than two-thirds of the members voting.

6. Councils specifically are given a power to spend “such reasonable sum as they think fit” for presenting an “address (scroll) or cask containing an address” recording the presentation.

7. It would be advisable for the Council first to agree at an ordinary meeting that it wishes to hold a special meeting, by which it would become apparent if a two-thirds majority of members supported the proposal.

Resource Implications

8. Should the Council want to appoint an Honorary Alderman, the staff time involved in setting up a Special Meeting and making arrangements for a reception could be accommodated within existing workloads. The cost of any reception would be met from the Civic Hospitality budget, but this is already under pressure.

9. The cost of any scroll or badge could not be met from within existing budgets. A scroll would cost around 600 - 700 and setting up a badge for the Office of Honorary Alderman might cost between 500 and 1,000. Once set up, it would cost around 400 for each badge.

Possible Alternatives

10. Currently the Council has no process for recognising and acknowledging eminent service by retiring Members. If Members wished, officers could investigate some way of including a less formal recognition than conferring the title of Honorary Alderman. This could include some recognition at the first Annual Council Meeting following the election and some form of certificate recognising and recording eminent service.

Recommendation

The Executive is asked if it wishes the Officers to report further and, if so, to express a view on either the option of conferring the title of Honorary Alderman or, alternatively, a less formal way of recognising eminent service by former members.
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Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Robin Pellow Telephone: 01483 523222

E-mail: rpellow@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2004-2005/202 39573