Five people with a combined total of more than 100 years’ service on Dudley Council have been honoured.
Former Mayor of Dudley Dave Tyler and long-serving ward councillor Bryan Cotterill - who both stood down this year after serving 21 and 22 years respectively – were made honorary aldermen of the borough at the council’s mayor making ceremony on Wednesday.
The title is one of the highest honours awarded by Dudley Council and recognises outstanding service to the borough.
Les Jones, a former leader of the council, and Hilary Bills, a former deputy mayor, were awarded the freedom of the borough last night. Both also bowed out in May having served 22 years and nine years respectively on the authority.
Councillor Ian Kettle - a former Mayor and the councillor with the longest period of continuous service currently sitting on the authority – was also awarded the freedom of the borough at the ceremony. Councillor Kettle has been a serving councillor since 1990 – an unbroken period of 31 years.
The trio join a prestigious list of names to receive the freedom scroll including multi-millionaire businessman Roy Richardson, world tennis star Jordanne Whiley and comedian and actor Lenny Henry. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:
"These five people served the borough tirelessly as councillors – and in Councillor Kettle’s case continues to serve into a third decade - and I am delighted to be able to recognise their commitment in this way.
"They have all been influential figures at this authority serving in senior roles, making a huge difference to the lives of the people of this borough. It is an honour to have served alongside them and fitting to mark their achievements at the council."
The ceremony last night, held at Dudley Town Hall, was to celebrate the appointment of Councillor Anne Millward as the borough’s first citizen for 2021/22.