Four former Rushmoor councillors, with almost a century of experience between them, have been awarded the title of Honorary Alderman in recognition of their commitment to the people of Rushmoor.
At an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday 3 December, Tony Gardiner (23 years), David Welch (33), Sue Dibble (24) and Don Cappleman (19), became members of a select band of just 11 people who have been awarded the title since the formation of Rushmoor Borough Council in 1974.
Tony Gardiner first joined the council in 1983 and served as chairman of the Planning Committee and vice chairman of the Corporate Services Policy and Review Panel. During his years as a borough councillor, Mr Gardiner served on a number of other committees and panels, including Highways, Development Management and Health and Housing. He served as Deputy Mayor of Rushmoor in 1983/84.
David Welch’s democratic career spanned 33 years after first being elected to the council in 1979. He served as a Cabinet member for Community and Health and Housing, and as chairman of the Corporate Services Policy and Review Panel, among many appointments, both within the council and on outside bodies. Mr Welch was twice as Mayor of Rushmoor, in 1988/89 and 2007/2008.
Sue Dibble first joined the council in 1995 and served as chairman of the Development Management Committee. She was also on the Environment Policy and Review Panel, Leisure Facilities Sub-Committee, Licensing Sub-Committee and the Policy and Resources Committee.
Don Cappleman was first elected to the council in 1995 and served as vice chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee. He was also a member of the Development Management, Environmental and Community Services, Licensing and General Purposes, Housing, and Leisure and Youth committees.
The Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Sue Carter, presented each of them with a scroll and medal. She said: “It was a great pleasure for me to be able to confer the title of Honorary Alderman on these four former councillors, who have given such tremendous service to our community over many years. I would like to offer them both my congratulations and our thanks for all that they have done for the people of Rushmoor.”
Aldermen are elected by councillors and the title is used by both men and women. As Honorary Alderman, all four can attend council meetings.