Special night for council stalwarts

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Thursday night is set to be a very special occasion for four Pendle Council stalwarts.

At a special meeting of Pendle Council, the Freedom of the Borough of Pendle is due to be awarded to former Leader of the council John David and former Chief Executive Stephen Barnes.

And former Pendle councillors George Adam and Pauline McCormick will also be named Honorary Aldermen of Pendle, the first time Pendle has bestowed the honour.

Both titles are high honours to be awarded to individuals who have given years of service to the borough.

John David was first elected onto Pendle Council in 1986. He served the Old Laund Booth ward as a borough councillor for 28 years until his retirement in 2014 due to ill health. He was the Mayor of Pendle in 1992/3 and also Leader of the council between 2008 and 2010.

Stephen Barnes was an officer with Pendle Council since its formation in 1974. Working through the ranks as an accountant, he became Chief Executive in 1993, a position he held for 22 years until his retirement in March this year.

John David said: “I was amazed when I heard the news. It’s a rare accolade that a council grants and I have to admit that I was absolutely delighted.”

Stephen Barnes said: “It has been a real privilege to serve Pendle Council as both its borough treasurer and chief executive. However to receive the Freedom of the Borough, an honour granted to only a few individuals, leaves me feeling both tremendously grateful and truly delighted. And to be among only three local authority Chief Executives in the country to be granted the honour is simply wonderful.”

Pauline McCormick was first elected onto Pendle Council in 1986. For 22 years she represented the Reedley ward as a Conservative councillor and was Mayor of Pendle in 2002/03.

George Adam served Walverden ward as a Labour party borough councillor between 2000 and 2010, and was Mayor of Pendle in 2006/07. He was also a member of Lancashire County Council between 2009 and 2013, and the chairman of Nelson Town Council between 2008 and 2011. He has recently been re-elected onto the Town Council.

Pauline said: “I am grateful for being given this award. It’s a lovely thing to receive and makes me feel appreciated.”

George said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way. It means a lot to me personally since I came from outside of the borough and was accepted in Pendle. I was lucky to have been able to retire early and have dedicated much of my retired life to helping people.”

All four were set to receive a special scroll to commemorate their achievement.

Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Joe Cooney said: “We’re incredibly fortunate to have had such a dedicated group of people working hard to make Pendle a better place for the people who live and work here.

“Collectively they have clocked up over 100 years of service to Pendle. On behalf of the council and local residents, I congratulate them all on their achievement.”