History of the Honorary Aldermen

Before the 1972 Act became operative County and Borough Councils had two categories of Members - Councillors and Aldermen. The Aldermen were chosen not by the electorate but by the Councillors.

Aldermen constituted one-quarter of a council except in the Greater London Council and the London Boroughs where the proportion was one-sixth. They were elected for a six-year term, and half were elected each third year: in counties the triennial aldermanic elections were held in the same year as the election of Councillors.

Aldermen were usually selected from among existing Councillors, but not necessarily so: the legal requirement was that an Alderman should be qualified to be a Councillor on the local authority. Thus it was possible to give a council entirely fresh Members through the aldermanic system.

Municipal Corporations Act

It was introduced into the Municipal Corporations Act, 1835, at the insistence of the House of Lords, to try and strengthen the link between the reformed elected Councils and the traditions of the ancient chartered corporations. The institution of Aldermen was also supported as a device to secure some greater continuity of policy and personnel.

The Maud Committee on Management urged that the office of Aldermen be abolished. Subsequently both main political parties accepted this advice in spite of opposition from the Association of Municipal Corporations.

The position of Alderman was finally abolished under the Local government Act 1972 in 1974.

Section 249 of the Local Government Act

In recognition of the position Aldermen used to play in Council life, Section 249 of the Local Government Act states that the Council may confer the title of Honorary Alderman on any person who, in the opinion of the Council, has rendered eminent services to the Council as a past Member of the Council.

The award must be the subject of a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the Members present at a meeting specially convened for that purpose.

The Council periodically reviews its policies.  A meeting of full Council held on 30 January 2020, the Honorary Alderman policy was amended to include the title of Honorary Alderwoman.

Conferment Ceremony

Essentially, the offer of appointment to Honorary Alderman/Alderwoman may only be made in respect of former Members having a minimum of 15 years service as an elected member of this authority.

Any former Member who qualifies will then be considered by the Honours Task Group established to consider whether that person meets the criteria.

A conferment ceremony would then take place at an extraordinary meeting of the full Council at which the formal resolution under section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 would be passed (the decision to be subject to a minimum two-thirds majority).

Please see the the list below to see the full list of former Members of the Council who have been appointed as Honorary Aldermen/Honorary Alderwomen of the City of Preston.

Honorary Aldermen/Honorary Alderwomen of the Borough/City of Preston

NameDate
John Swindells30 January 2020
Neil Cartwright30 January 2020
Bobby Cartwright13 December 2018
Christine Abram13 December 2018
John Collins18 October 2018
Margaret McManus18 October 2018
Peter Rankin17 May 2018
Veronica Afrin29 June 2017
Terry Cartwright15 December 2016
Bhikhu Patel15 October 2015
Eric Fazackerley15 October 2015
William Shannon16 October 2014
Jennifer Greenhalgh16 October 2014
Albert Richardson15 September 2014
Michael Onyon20 October 2011
William Tyson20 October 2011
Patricia Ann Woods21 October 2010
Alan Hackett21 October 2010
Harold Parker15 October 2009
Marie Milne18 October 2007
Ian Hall, JP30 August 2007
Joseph Hood CBE JP31 August 2006
Geoffrey Threlfall Swarbrick30 September 2004
Rose Kinsella18 July 2002
Dorothy Chaloner JP18 July 2002
William Nicholas Borrow18 July 2002
Ronald Ball18 July 2002
Richard Atkinson18 July 2002
Henry Richard Evans J.P12 October 2000
Irene Black JP12 October 2000
Mary Rawcliffe19 May 1994
Nancy Taylor19 May 1994
Raymond Henry Greenwood Jones21 May 1987
Ernest William Bunker27 May 1976
Joseph Holden JP25 March 1974
William Beckett OBE MM JP25 March 1974