Jimmy Savile removed from Scarborough’s Freemen of the Borough list UPDATED

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Jimmy Savile’s name is to be removed from Scarborough’s list of Freemen of the Borough.

Councillors today voted to delete his name from the role of honour as a gesture of support to his 300 alleged victims.

There was also an unsuccessful call to exhume the disgraced presenter’s body and cremate it following complaints from the distraught family of a child who is buried in a neighbouring grave.

The council will decide whether to permanently scrap Savile’s Freedom of the Borough status when a Metropolitan Police investigation concludes.

Leader of the council, Mr Tom Fox, who raised the motion to delete Savile’s name from the honours board at a town hall meeting, said it was the first time such a move had been proposed in Scarborough.

He said: “We have some very serious issues, serious allegations and indeed the quotes we’ve heard from the Metropolitan Police don’t use the word ‘alleged’.

“They actually describe Jimmy Savile as a serial, predatory paedophile.

“I think it was most appropriate that the council, at least in the first instance, considered removing it from the board.”

The late BBC star was awarded the accolade in November 2005 to celebrate his links with the North Yorkshire resort, where he owned a second home and was buried overlooking the sea a year ago.

Mr Colin Haddington, councillor for Filey, called for Savile’s body to be dug up and cremated out of respect to families who visit the graveyard.

He said: “I was approached by one of my constituents who informed me that her granddaughter is buried in Woodlands Cemetery and unfortunately Jimmy Savile has been buried very close by this lady’s granddaughter.

“This has caused a great deal of distress to her constituent and her family.

“I put it to the council today if Jimmy Savile’s body could be exhumed or cremated.”

He added that the response from the council was “disappointing” but acknowledged the decision could only be made by Savile’s family.

The wooden plaque listing Scarborough’s freemen - which adorns the town hall lobby - will be taken down and sent away to be changed tomorrow.

Savile’s name has already been removed from street signs put up in the town in his honour and his headstone was recently removed and broken up at his family’s request.

Historically, anyone made a freeman was exempt from tolls and given special privileges. It is still awarded to “persons of distinction and any persons who have rendered eminent services to the borough”.

Scarborough has granted freeman status to 20 individuals and groups since the local government reshuffle of 1974, including playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn, retired boxer Paul Ingle and the Yorkshire Regiment.