Councillors set to be honoured as Aldermen of Sunderland

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FORMER councillors could be honoured by being made Aldermen of the City of Sunderland.

If approved, the recommendation, due to be put before Sunderland City Council’s cabinet on Wednesday, will mean former members will be able to continue to play a role in civic life at the end of their political career.

The authority has not previously had any arrangements for awarding the title of Honorary Alderman and it would celebrate the achievements of past councillors.

Nominees will be selected by the political group leaders based on their contribution to the city, the community and distinguished service.

Names will then be put to the full council.

Nominations for the non-political role are likely to be a closely-guarded secret until decisions are made.

“It is not anticipated that appointments will be made in each civic year, since election to the roll of Honorary Alderman is an honour that will not be conferred lightly or as a matter of routine,” the report to cabinet states.

The role is not a paid one, but is likely to attract a number of ceremonial perks.

In addition to being named in the Roll of Honorary Aldermen of the City of Sunderland, recipients of the title will have a seat in the council chamber, although they will not be entitled to contribute to debates or vote.

Aldermen will be able to use a number of council facilities, including the civic centre car park, members’ rooms and dining room, and will be invited to civic events at the mayor’s discretion.

Cabinet is expected to agree with the recommendation as all the leaders of the principal political groups have indicated their support.