Decades of Cherwell service recognised with top council honour

Fred Blackwell
Fred Blackwell

A former councillor’s decades of service to the district have been celebrated with his appointment to the role of Honorary Alderman.

The title was conferred on Fred Blackwell at a special meeting of Cherwell District Council’s on Monday July 18.

Alderman Blackwell has acted as a councillor for Cherwell and its predecessor authority, Banbury Borough Council, for 45 years.

Cllr Barry Wood, leader of the council, said: “Fred is widely known in the district as a proper councillor: dedicated to serving his community and a pleasure to work with.

“He has served as chairman of countless committees over the years, and became known for his fairness and insistence on always listening properly to all the evidence.

“At times his duties might not have been the most glamorous, but he fulfilled them with diligence and commitment regardless.

“He undertook difficult jobs such as chairing appeal panels with real impartiality and a focus on the evidence he was presented with.

“On a personal note, Fred is widely respected for the courtesy and respect he shows to everyone who crosses his path.

“Council officers have commented on how reliable and easy to work with he was, and I can readily attest to his passion for serving the community.”

Over the years Alderman Blackwell has held positions such as chairman of the council, executive member and chairman of committees.

The term ‘Alderman’ is a traditional title which derives from Old English and means ‘elder man’. In Cherwell, Aldermen’s names are inscribed on a roll of honour. They are also presented with their own scroll at a formal council ceremony.