Protocol for determining whether the Freedom of the Borough should be conferred
It is important that if a nomination to confer an Honorary Freedom is to be considered, all members of the council are in possession of sufficient facts in order to make a decision as to whether the honour should be conferred. There may be instances where there are strongly held views for and against and these need to be addressed as far as possible in advance of an Extraordinary Council meeting called for the purpose as a unanimous decision is clearly desirable in the circumstances (although the Act actually requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting).
The title of Honorary Freeman/woman is a mark of distinction upon the person whom we wish to honour. Conferring the Freedom of the Borough does not grant the title holder any privileges, legal rights or responsibilities. For example, they have no rights to attend council or committee meetings, nor can they be paid an allowance. However, it is a symbolic connection with the council and it is hoped that those who are awarded this honour will support the Office of the Mayor at civic events and functions.