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Protocol on Conferring the Title of Honorary Aldermen to Ex-Members of the Authority
The Local Government Act 1972 gives principal councils the power to confer the title of ‘Honorary Alderman’ (or ‘Honorary Alderwoman’) on persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services to the council as past members of that council, but who are no longer members of the council. The act does not specify how eminent services are defined, and this is left as a matter of local interpretation. Therefore the criteria used to select Honorary Aldermen for appointment are:
The title of
Honorary Alderman can only be conferred to an ex-member of the authority.
Aldermen must have served 8 years in total on the Council.
This service can
either be two full terms, two terms broken by a period of not being a member,
or several part-terms if the reason for this was a by-election.
for the appointment of an ex-member to become an Honorary Alderman must be made
by five current serving members.
Nominations may be made while the proposed Honorary Alderman is still a member of the authority once it has been confirmed they will not be standing for election again. However the appointment of Honorary Alderman can only be made once they are no longer a member of the authority.
Appointment of Honorary Aldermen
Appointments of Honorary Aldermen must take place at a Council meeting specially convened for the purpose. This meeting will take place before the first full council meeting of the municipal year following the Council’s AGM. Two thirds of the members present at the meeting must vote in favour of a resolution for the nominee to be appointed as an Honorary Alderman.
An Honorary Alderman may speak once the vote has taken place in order to accept the honour.
An Honorary Alderman will be given a certificate confirming the title, and their name will be placed on an honours board in the town hall.
Rights of Honorary Aldermen
The title of Honorary Alderman does not confer any special privileges or rights upon the appointee to speak or vote at Council meetings, beyond the rights and privileges already afforded to the public.
The only rights that are conferred to an Honorary Alderman by virtue of their appointment is to be invited to Civic functions and events by invitation of the Council. The Council will decide which Civic functions and events it is appropriate to invite Honorary Aldermen to.
Former Mayors are not eligible to become Honorary Aldermen, as ex Mayors are already invited to Civic Functions and Events, already have their name on an honours board and are presented with a badge of office at the end of their mayoral year. As granting the title of Honorary Alderman would not grant any additional privileges for ex Mayors it is unnecessary for them to be both ex Mayors and Honorary Aldermen.
However if an Honorary Aldermen becomes a member again, and then becomes appointed Mayor, they may retain the title of Honorary Alderman.
Removal of Title of Honorary Alderman
There may be occasions where, due to the past or future behaviour of individuals who have been appointed as Honorary Aldermen, the Council may wish to remove the title of Honorary Alderman from an individual.
Removal of the title of Honorary Alderman will follow the same process as appointment (nomination by 5 Councillors, and then a resolution of two thirds of those present must be passed), however it may take place at any meeting of Full Council rather than a specially convened meeting.