Policy for Honorary Freemen or Freewomen of the Parish
1.1 Under Section 249 subsection (5) of the Local Government Act 1972, Shorne Parish Council (“the Council”) may admit persons of distinction and persons who, in the opinion of the Council, have rendered eminent services to the parish, to be honorary freemen or honorary freewomen of the parish.
1.2 The admission of a person as honorary freeman or honorary freewoman confers no rights, powers, or privileges, but the Council may spend such reasonable sum as it thinks fit for the purpose of presenting an address or a casket containing an address to a person on whom the Council has conferred the title of honorary freeman or honorary freewoman.
2.1 Nominations may come from members of the public or from members of the Council, but as this is the highest honour that the Council can grant, it shall be used sparingly in order to preserve its status and value.
2.2 Any nominations for the Honorary title will be considered at the next Ordinary Meeting of the Council. The agenda item will be discussed in private, and the public, press, and anyone nominated for the award will be excluded. The name(s) of the individual(s) must not appear in the agenda or minutes of the meeting. The object of the agenda item will be to discuss the merits of the nomination(s), and to determine whether to convene a meeting with the sole purpose of granting the award. The meeting shall only be convened if not less than 2/3rds of the Council are in favour of granting the award.
- Prior to the issuing of any notice calling the specially-convened meeting, the Chairman or other nominated Councillor shall informally enquire to the proposed person(s) as to:
- Whether or not they are prepared to accept the award; and
- Whether they are aware of any reason why they should not be granted the award.
- Extraordinary Meeting
3.1 The meeting shall be convened with the specific purpose of considering a motion to grant the award to the person(s) named therein. Notice of the meeting shall be published in accordance with Standing Orders. Unless circumstances require otherwise, the meeting shall normally take place immediately prior to the next meeting of the Council.
- The Chairman shall open the meeting by stating the purpose of the meeting and outlining the legislative provisions and the criteria for the award.
- If the person(s) nominated for the award are present, they should leave the room at this point.
3.4 The Chairman shall then invite the Vice Chairman or other Councillor to present the proposal, setting out how the nominated person meets the criteria, and why they should be awarded this honour.
3.5 In accordance with Standing Orders, the Chairman shall invite others who wish to speak in relation to the nomination.
3.6 The Chairman shall then invite the Council to pass a motion granting the award to the nominated person. If the Council passes the resolution by no less than a 2/3rds majority, then the resolution shall be recorded in the Council Minutes in the usual way.
3.7 The person so nominated may return to the room at this stage.
3.8 In the event of there being more than one nomination, steps 3.3 to 3.7 may be repeated.
3.8 The meeting shall then be concluded.
- Presentation Ceremony
4.1 Although the bestowing of the Freedom of the Parish actually occurs at the point the Council resolves to grant the Freedom, the presentation ceremony marks the occasion in a public and dignified way.
4.2 It is envisaged that the occasion for the presentation ceremony shall be sufficiently publicised and visible to members of the public, such as at the annual Parish assembly, or other public event.
4.3 The presentation shall normally be made by the Parish Council Chairman with other Councillors present.
4.4 Following the presentation, an opportunity shall be provided for the recipient to reply.
4.5 Photographs should be taken to record the event and placed on the Parish Council website.
Interim policy 13.01.24