Former Ripon councillor to be considered for alderman honour

Former Harrogate Borough Councillor Alan Skidmore.
Former Harrogate Borough Councillor Alan Skidmore.

A former Harrogate Borough Councillor is set to receive the lifetime title of honorary alderman next month.

Members of the general purposes committee will vote on June 20 on whether to proceed with bestowing the title of honorary alderman on Alan Skidmore.

The former Ripon councillor racked up 17 years of service on the district council before retiring last year, with his service exceeding the fifteen-year period required for the title to be considered.

According to a report on the matter, the former councillor was eligible to have received the honour in 2018, but requested that conferment of the honour be deferred to 2019.

If the general purposes committee vote in favour of the move, then the former councillor will officially receive the title following the next full meeting of council, due to be held on July 17.

The June 20 general purposes committee will also see councillors vote on whether to endorse a new draft Mayoral Handbook.

The handbook outlines key information and guidance on the role of the Mayor, for the guidance of both the serving Mayor and prospective candidates.

One of the key changes mentioned in the draft handbook is additional wording to be added which would reflect that a same-sex partner of a Mayor would be known as the Consort.

Another recommendation is the appointment of a 'Mayor's cadet'.

The move would see a young person from the Harrogate District Sea Cadets appointed annually and tasked with accompanying the Mayor to functions, where they would carry out duties such as opening doors for VIPs and talking to guests.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter