Five veteran Leeds councillors who have clocked up almost 75 years of service to the city between them have been awarded civic honours.
Ann Castle, Janet Harper JP, Doreen Lewis, Ron Millet and David Schofield were all named honorary aldermen of the city at a special ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall yesterday.
The five were handed the prestigious title “in recognition and appreciation of the long and distinguished public service rendered” to the city.
Tributes were led by leader of the council Judith Blake, who thanked the five for their “exemplary” service to the city over many years.
Other warm tributes came from representatives across the political parties. Conservative group opposition leader Andrew Carter said it was “good to see that we recognise all councillors who work extremely hard for their constituents and the people they serve”, regardless of whether they serve on the front or back benches.
Ann Castle served as a Conservative councillor for Weetwood from 1988-1996. A second stint came from 2000-2016, when she covered the Roundhay and Harewood wards. She was elected to be the city’s 119th Lord Mayor in 2012, and also served as Deputy Lord Mayor in 2005/06.
Janet Harper, who is also a justice of the peace, represented the Armley ward for Labour for 20 years, and joined her partner David Congreve as his Lady Mayoress during his term in office in 2014/15.
Conservative councillor David Schofield served the city across four decades and in three separate wards. He represented Garforth and Swillington from 1982-1986; Halton from 1986 to 2004 in three different stints; and Temple Newsam from 2004 to 2011 over two stints.
Doreen Lewis represented the Roundhay ward for Labour from 1995 to 1998. Her party colleague Ron Millet was a Burmantofts councillor from 1971 to 1984.