Flintshire set to honour veteran Labour politician
Rory Sheehan, local democracy reporter
A politician whose political career has spanned more than 50 years looks set to be granted the Freedom of Flintshire.
Flintshire Council is poised to confer the honour on Lord Barry Jones and rename its chamber at County Hall to become ‘The Lord Barry Jones Chamber’.
It has been proposed in recognition of Lord Jones’ 52 years of public service as a parliamentarian and his ongoing service and dedication to the local communities that make up Flintshire.
A special full meeting of Flintshire Council will take place this Friday (March 17) to decide on honouring the life peer who served as Labour MP for East Flintshire from 1970 to 1983, then Alyn and Deeside until 2001, an unbroken spell of more than 30 years.
Amongst his many achievements and dedication to the Flintshire community, Lord Jones is warmly regarded throughout the county for his efforts to save the steelworks in Shotton in the 1970s.
The renaming of the council chamber in his honour had been set to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to Covid restrictions in place at the time.
A report to councillors states: “In 2020, Lord Barry Jones would have celebrated 50 years as a parliamentarian representing the people of Flintshire.
“The council previously made arrangements for the Council Chamber at County Hall to be renamed ‘The Lord Barry Jones Council Chamber’ in recognition of this feat.
“Unfortunately, due to COVID and the restrictions in place at the time, the event did not take place.
“It has since been suggested that, in addition to the renaming of the Council Chamber, bestowing the Freedom of the County of Flintshire on Lord Barry Jones would be a fitting tribute to his service and dedication to the local communities that make up Flintshire.
The report adds: “The nomination, agreed by all the political group leaders of the council, is to grant Lord Barry Jones the Freedom of the County of Flintshire, in recognition of his long and distinguished political career.
“Lord Jones has been an advocate for Flintshire throughout his career and continues to work tirelessly for the people, businesses, and community groups across the county.
“It is the highest accolade that a County Council can bestow.”
According to the report, The Freedom of the County is granted under Section 249 (5) of the Local Government Act 1972.
The legislation provides that a County Council can grant the Freedom of the County to ‘persons of distinction’ and ‘persons who have, in the opinion of the authority, rendered eminent services to that place or area’.
The title of Honorary Freemen or Honorary Freewomen in Flintshire is purely honorary and does not confer any special rights or privileges.
Flintshire Council meets on Friday to determine the honour.
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