Council welcomes Somerset’s first Aldermen

Four former councillors have been recognised for their service to the County Council and the people of Somerset with a new honour.

Last year the County Council agreed to create the new position of Honorary Aldermen. Its meeting this week saw the County’s first ever recipients sworn in by the Chairman of the Council, Councillor William Wallace.

Between them they have spent 60 years as Council Members, representing their communities and holding important roles within the Council.

  • Ralph Clark – County Councillor for Street between 1985 and 2001, during which time he chaired four different committees and vice-chaired a further three.
  • Dr Glyn Court – Councillor for Williton between 1973 and 1977, then 1985 to 1993. He held the position of Vice-Chairman of the Council, as well as chairing three committees and vice-chairing another two.
  • John Edney – County Councillor for Cannington between 2001 and 2017. During that period he served as Chairman of the Council and Chair of the Standards Committee.
  • Alan Gloak – County Councillor Glastonbury and Glastonbury and Street between 2001 and 2017. A former Chairman of the Council, he also chaired two committees and was the Executive Portfolio-holder for Community Regeneration and Development

Cllr Wallace said: “It was a real honour to recognise the service these former councillors have given to their communities and the County Council. Each of them has played an important part in the workings of this authority over many years and their commitment is an inspiration.

“Not only have they been the life-blood of this council, they have also been tireless advocates for their communities and Somerset as a whole. I hope they enjoy their new role as Aldermen.”

Each Alderman was presented with a medal and certificate and received a warm ovation from all members. The position brings no special rights, allowances or payments but reflects the esteem of the wider community and Aldermen are invited to civic events.

The County Council will have no more than 12 Aldermen or Alderwomen at any one time. To be eligible a former councillor must have served for at least 12 years.

Nominations are made to the Chairman of the Council by a current elected member with the support of their Group Leader. These are then considered and voted on by a special meeting of the County Council.