A quartet of long-serving former councillors have each been bestowed with one of the highest honours in Dudley borough.
David Blood, Rachel Harris, Melvyn Mottram and Elizabeth Walker – who have spent a combined 76 years serving their communities - were all made honorary aldermen and women of Dudley borough.
All four have served their communities as councillors holding titles such as Mayor and cabinet members during their time in office.
The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor David Stanley
It is one of the highest honours awarded by Dudley Council and recognises outstanding service to the borough.
The pendants were handed out at a small event last week on the same day of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. One of the special guests, D-Day veteran Signalman George Edward Waterfield, received a standing ovation.
Councillor David Stanley, Mayor of Dudley, said:
These four people served the borough tirelessly as councillors and I am delighted to be able to recognise their commitment in this way.
They were all senior, influential figures at this authority serving in senior roles, making a huge difference to the lives of the people of this borough.
It is an honour to have served alongside them and fitting to mark their achievements at the council.
It was also a huge honour to welcome Mr Waterfield along and I was delighted to see he received an emotional standing ovation to mark 75 years since he served on the beaches at Normandy.
Melvyn Mottram was Mayor of Dudley in 2012, raising £50,000 for charity. He was key to the borough’s Olympics celebrations when the games were held in London and marked the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations during his year in office. He served as the member for Coseley ward from 1995 to this year.
Councillor Judy Foster, Melvyn Mottram and the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor David Stanley
Mr Blood was cabinet member for finance, overseeing and implementing the council’s budget proposals. He spent 13 years as an elected member, serving the Kingswinford South ward from 2003 to 2016.
Ms Harris served as cabinet member for procurement, transformation and commercialisation as well as being portfolio holder for health and wellbeing. She stepped down as an elected member this year after serving as a councillor for a quarter of a century.
Mrs Walker was ward councillor for Amblecote and Wollaston from 1978 to 1984 and then for Amblecote ward from 2006 to 2014. During that time she was also cabinet member for children’s services for several years.
The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor David Stanley, Elizabeth Walker, and Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council