Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Freeman Of Information: Cash For Honours

There is a very small, select group of people in Reading who enjoy the honour of being a Freeman of the Borough.

Recent recipients of the town's "highest honour given in recognition of their distinguished service for Reading" are Sir John Madejski and the late former Mayor and councillor Bob Green.

You may think, therefore, that such highly esteemed civic honours carry a similar value in other places and any recipient will rank as someone of achievement and note.

Surely then we should also celebrate the fact that Conservative leader Andrew Cumpsty is a Freeman of the City of Lancaster, a matter he highlights elsewhere.

But scrolling through Lancaster City Council's list of Honorary Freeman, Andrew's name is nowhere to be found.

How can this be?

Well, apparently in Lancaster it is possible to apply and pay to become a Freeman - the current going rate is 50p. So did Andrew hand over cash for his honour?

In these tough financial times and flaging economy, perhaps Reading council should open up the Freeman of Reading club to all who are prepared to pay - make it £10 or even £100 a go and we could soon reduce the council's debt.

Perhaps Councillor Cumpsty will propose such an enterprise?

(image: getreading.co.uk)

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