Plans to present the Freedom of the Borough to NHS and care workers from the public and voluntary sector in Dudley are gathering pace.
Following cross-party consultation, the Leader of the Council has confirmed a formal proposal will go to an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council in July as part of a raft of measures the local authority is looking at to ensure the heroes of the fight against Covid 19 are recognised. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
"Whilst the fight against the pandemic is not yet complete and physical presentations remain some way into the future, it’s important we are ready to recognise the amazing efforts of so many. We will look to get formal approval at July’s Full Council which will be held virtually due to the ongoing social distancing requirements.
"Formal presentations and opportunities for people to personally show appreciation will of course follow at an appropriate time. Once the Freedom honour has been agreed through the formal meeting we propose to work cross party to find the best way to recognise the achievements of many and do this in a disciplined and rewarding manner which hopefully some of them can enjoy with families present.
"If we are to do this it will be organised correctly with organisations and individuals recognised for their amazing contribution. In addition to the Freedom Ceremony I also want other events to recognise different organisations with their families present and to honour certain individuals, whose exploits will not be known to us as of yet."
In addition to the Freedom of the Borough honour, considerations will be made around future awards ceremonies in the borough such as the Mayor of Dudley’s annual Civic Awards. Meanwhile public art projects, aimed at creating a longer term memorial to the current crisis will also be considered over the coming months.
The formal proposal around the Freedom of the Borough is set to go before Full Council on July 23.