Friday, April 15, 2011

Royal Anglicans awarded Freedom of Basildon Borough

There was an Extraordinary Council Meeting last night, just before the last Full Council meeting of the municipal year. The agenda only had one item of business: the proposed award of the Freedom of Basildon Borough to the Royal Anglican Anglian Regiment. Basildon has spend most of its relatively short history as a District Council, not a Borough Council, and one of the differences is that Borough Councils can make this award while Districts cannot. Now that we are a Borough there was the issue of which body or individual would be the first to be honoured with the award of a Freedom, except it wasn't much of an issue. The Council's view is that such an award should be infrequent and should represent a truly outstanding contribution to the community. We are working on protocols and so on that reflect that. However, our Regiment doesn't have to wait for the paperwork. When the vote was taken there was unanimous support across the political spectrum and moving speeches from all parties. Basildon Councillors have been accused in the past of being able to start a fight over almost anything, so this is far from a normal event and reflects the unswerving support there is from all sides for our soldiers.

The Regiment is readying for deployment and so won't be available for ceremonial events for a while. That's fine, we will be ready when they are. Until then, here's hoping that this award shows these brave men and women that the Basildon Community is right behind the Regiment.