Seven people at the heart of the community in Cheshire West have been made honorary freemen at a civic reception.

The title of honorary freeman is the highest honour the council can bestow and has its roots in mediaeval times, arising from the practice of granting respected citizens freedom from serfdom.

Those conferred honorary freeman are: historian Len Morgan, Roger Parkin, Major Eddie Pickering MBE, Laurie Curry MBE, former Ellesmere Port & Neston MP Andrew Miller, former Chester MP Christine Russell and Kathy Benn MBE.

The award of honorary alderman was bestowed to eight long serving councillors for their commitment and dedication to West Cheshire.

An honorary alderman of Cheshire West and Chester Council is entitled to attend civic receptions and other civic ceremonies where all members of the council are invited, and will be notified of matters of significant civic interest by the civic team. Each has a minimum of 12 years’ service as a councillor and/or service as leader of the council or chairman of the council.

Those conferred Honorary Alderman are: Malcolm Byram, Keith Butcher, Bob Crompton, Les Ford, John Grimshaw, Justin Madders, Herbert Manley and Bob Thompson.

Council leader Samantha Dixon said “Between them, our eight nominated honorary alderman have 135 years of service to Cheshire West and Chester and it’s forming authorities. That’s more than one and a third centuries of commitment to improving the lives of our residents and the prosperity of our borough.

“Those awarded as alderman and freeman have all worked tirelessly for the people of Cheshire West and Chester and are fine examples of hard working people who have through the years helped shape our borough of today and it is only fitting that they are recognised with the civic honour.”