Eight new honorary alderman have been elected in recognition of their ‘eminent service’ to North Yorkshire – including the first to be honoured posthumously.
The honour was given at an extraordinary meeting of North Yorkshire County Council to Michael Heseltine in recognition of his 40 years’ service as a county councillor from 1977 to 2016. Councillor Heseltine, a Conservative who represented Richmondshire North, died last December aged 78.
He sat on most of the County Council’s committees over the years, including the police and fire authorities, and was chairman of the County Council in 2005-6. Most recently, he sat on the Richmondshire Area Committee, the Scrutiny of Health Committee and Transport, Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Also elected were:
- Shelagh Marshall OBE, a Conservative who represented Mid-Craven who served as a county councillor from 1989 to 2017. She was a very active Older People’s Champion from 2000 to 2017, forging a national reputation and putting North Yorkshire on the map. Latterly she campaigned long and hard regarding tackling loneliness and isolation, particularly in rural communities.
- Bill Hoult, a former leader of the Liberal Democrat group, who served from 1993 to 2017 and represented Knaresborough. He was a long standing member of the Planning and Regulatory Committee and served on other committees including Audit.
- Chris Metcalfe, a Conservative who represented Tadcaster and served from 1993 to 2017. He was on the Executive from its inception in 2001 and in more recent years his portfolio covered issues including the Allerton Park waste incinerator and the first round of community libraries.
- Margaret-Ann de Courcey-Bayley, a Liberal Democrat who represented Harrogate and served from 1997 to 2017, was on various committees and was chairman of the Audit & Corporate Affairs Overview & Scrutiny Committee. She was a long standing and active member of the Pension Fund Committee from its inception.
- John Fort BEM, Conservative, Pateley Bridge, who served from 1997 to 2017, was on the Executive from its inception in 2001 until 2010, was chairman of the County Council in 2011-12 and served on various committees. He was chairman of the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority from 2007 to 2016.
- John Savage, Liberal, Harrogate, who served from 1997 to 2017, was chairman of the County Council in 2009-10 and served on various committees including the Executive from 2001 until 2002. He was chairman of the Transport and Telecommunications Committee, Social Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee and the Economic Development & Regeneration Committee.
- Bernard Bateman MBE, Conservative, Ripon, who served from 1997 to 2017, was chairman of the County Council in 2013-14 and was on various committees, including the Pension Fund of which he was a very active member. He was chairman of Harrogate Area Committee.
Certficates of office for the new honorary were presented by the chairman of the county council, Councillor Helen Swiers.