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Honorary Freemen

The provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 allow a Borough or City Council to admit “persons of distinction and persons who have in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to the City, Borough or Royal Boroughs” as Honorary Freeman.

The conferring title of Honorary Freeman is the highest honour that a Council of a City or Borough can bestow and, in the view of many, should not be given too often.

The title of Honorary Freeman has been awarded to:

  • Philip Thomas Ireton JP CC DL - 6 November 1975
  • The Right Hon Shirley Williams - 8 July 1979
  • The Right Hon John Silkin MP - 14 January 1982
  • Councillor Michael Cotter - 24 August 1991
  • Councillor Brian Hall CC - 20 September 1996
  • Hilda Lawrence - 20 September 2002
  • Dr Joachim Gerhard - 22 May 2013
  • Councillor Sherma Batson MBE DL CC - 28 February 2017

Honorary Aldermen

We may confer the title Honorary Alderman on persons who have, in the opinion of the Council, rendered eminent services to us as past members but who are no longer serving. For the award to be made, a resolution needs to be passed by at least two thirds of the members at a specially convened meeting of the Council.

Honorary Aldermen may attend and take part in civic ceremonies as invited. Each authority has its own criteria for the appointment of honorary aldermen, a list of rights and duties and its own ceremony for their admission. 

The title of Honorary Alderman has been awarded to:

  • Brian Hall - 19 July 2007
  • Kenneth Vale - 19 July 2007
  • William Lawrence - 22 July 2008
  • Brian Underwood - 16 June 2014
  • Patrick David Kissane - 9 September 2015
  • Ann Webb - 11 September 2019
  • David Cullen - 3 November 2021
  • Liz Harrington - 19 July 2023

Honorary Freedom of the Borough

The Royal British Legion, Stevenage and District Branch - 21 April 1998

Honorary Freedom of Entry

The Royal Anglian Regiment - 10 December 2012