Your cookie settings can be changed at any time through your browser settings. To find out more see our cookies page.
Before the 1972 Act became operative county and borough councils had two categories of members - councillors and aldermen. The aldermen were chosen not by the electorate but by the councillors.
Aldermen constituted one-quarter of a council except in the Greater London Council and the London Boroughs where the proportion was one-sixth. They were elected for a six-year term, and half were elected each third year: in counties the triennial aldermanic elections were held in the same year as the election of councillors.
Aldermen were usually selected from among existing councillors, but not necessarily so: the legal requirement was that an alderman should be qualified to be a councillor on the local authority. Thus it was possible to give a council entirely fresh members through the aldermanic system.
It was introduced into the Municipal Corporations Act, 1835, at the insistence of the House of Lords, to try and strengthen the link between the reformed elected councils and the traditions of the ancient chartered corporations. The institution of aldermen was also supported as a device to secure some greater continuity of policy and personnel.
The Maud Committee on Management urged that the office of aldermen be abolished. Subsequently both main political parties accepted this advice in spite of opposition from the Association of Municipal Corporations.
The position of Alderman was finally abolished under the Local government Act 1972 in 1974.
In recognition of the position Aldermen used to play in council life, Section 249 of the Local Government Act states that the council may confer the title of Honorary Alderman on any person who, in the opinion of the council, has rendered eminent services to the council as a past member of the council. The award must be the subject of a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the Members present at a meeting specially convened for that purpose.
At its meeting in June 2006 the council's Appeals and Miscellaneous Committee agreed a criteria for the appointment and selection of Honorary Aldermen.
Essentially, the offer of appointment to Honorary Alderman would normally only be considered in respect of former members having a minimum of 15 years service. Any former member who qualifies will then be considered by an ad hoc Task and Finish Group established to consider whether that person rendered eminent services to the council when he/she was a member. A conferment ceremony would then take place at a meeting of the full Council at which the formal resolution under section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 would be passed (the decision to be subject to a minimum two-thirds majority).
Please see the attached document to see the full list of former members of the council who have been appointed as Honorary Aldermen of the city of Preston.