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Press Release

Cllr Woodward with Cllr Hockley and Cllr Walker

Cllr Woodward with Cllr Hockley and Cllr Walker

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23 February 2024

Councillor Seán Woodward to receive Freedom of the Borough

Cllr Seán Woodward is to be given the Freedom of the Borough of Fareham upon his retirement as a councillor in May 2024.

The office of Honorary Freedom of the Borough is the highest award that Fareham Borough Council can award on an individual or corporate body, and it is conferred on this occasion in recognition of Cllr Woodward’s eminent services to the Council from 1986 to 2024 and his contribution to the life of the Borough. 

Cllr Woodward is the first recipient of this prestigious office which is conferred under Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 since 1998 and only the third individual. 

The motion was proposed by Cllr Nick Walker at a special meeting of the Council on Friday 23 February, seconded by Cllr Hockley and unanimously agreed following a debate which included many congratulations, plaudits and praise heaped upon the outgoing Leader.

Mayor of Fareham, Cllr Fred Birkett, said: ‘I am delighted to present Seán with the Freedom of the Borough of Fareham.  This is an extremely prestigious Award and is given very rarely to an individual who brings about positive and enduring change.   I have known Seán for almost a decade during which time he has shown an unswerving commitment and worked tirelessly for the good of the Borough.’

Cllr Woodward said: ‘I am honoured and humbled to have been made a Freeman of the Borough of Fareham and am very grateful to my fellow Councillors for their generous and supportive statements.  It has been my absolute privilege to serve Fareham for 38 years both as Sarisbury Councillor and Leader of the Council, but I am now looking forward to the next chapter in my life which will include spending quality time with my family. 

‘I will continue to watch with interest the huge and exciting projects that we have put in train including the first new homes at Welborne later this year, new infrastructure at Solent Airport and of course the regeneration of Fareham Town Centre including the opening of Fareham Live.  I feel we have together achieved a great deal in the 25 years that I have been Leader and I have immense gratitude to all of the extremely able Council officers and dedicated Councillors with whom I have worked over the years and without whose support we would have achieved far less.  I wish my successor as Leader and my successor as Sarisbury’s new Councillor and my fellow councillors all the very best as they continue to drive Fareham towards.’


Notes to Editor:

Honorary Freemen of the Borough of Fareham to date are:

Alderman Mrs Blanche Rita Dyke MBE       :           2 July 1974

HMS Collingwood                                        :           2 July 1974

Mrs Dorothy J Ekins OBE                            :           17 September 1996

Ville de Vannes                                            :           18 April 1998

Stadt Pulheim                                              :           18 April 1998

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