Contact your Parish Council



Years of service requirement amended from 8 to 12 years

It was felt that 8 years was not long enough to be considered for this honour, but that 12 years was sufficient.

Amendment of the requirement to 12 years in aggregate and using the same criteria as when selecting mayor to determine the aggregate time (i.e. if re-elected within 4 years the terms can be aggregated)

To ensure consistency with the protocol used to determine seniority for appointment to the Mayoralty, and to allow long service to be recognised even if there is a break in that service.

Nomination at the meeting must be proposed and seconded, rather than five members nominating.

Five members nominating was seen to be excessive – none of the other authorities given as examples have this as part of their protocol.

Removal of the provision to allow nominations to be made while the member is still in office

The group felt that it would be better for conversations to be had around nomination of honorary aldermen to happen when the Councillor is no longer serving on the Council.

Addition of specific criteria of service for nomination, which included that the member had to have been a group leader/spokesperson, leader of the council/deputy or chairman/vice chairman of a committee

Specifying that a Councillor had held one of these posts ensured that it could be demonstrated that the councillor had dedicated service to the Council.

Removal of the specific provision that the meeting to appoint an Honorary Aldermen must take place at the first full council of the municipal year following the Council’s AGM

This would allow more flexibility in when Honorary Aldermen can be appointed – particularly as some Council meetings have more in the agenda than others. This ceremonial type of meeting should not be rushed.

Addition of wording outlining that ‘The meeting (to appoint an honorary alderman) can occur on the same date of another full council meeting’ (italics added for context)

To make it clear that although this meeting has to be specially convened for the purpose, two consecutive council meetings can take place.

Clarity given that a potential Honorary Alderman is not to be present at the meeting that they are to be nominated, but that at the following meeting they will be presented with a certificate and given an opportunity to speak.

This is to prevent potential embarrassment if an honorary alderman is nominated but does not attain the 2/3 majority in Council that is needed to be appointed.




Amendment of ‘Rights of Honorary Aldermen’ to ‘Rights and Responsibilities of Honorary Aldermen’

To make clear that the title of Honorary Alderman also has responsibilities along with rights.

Parity of status with the past mayors – ensuring any rights are consistent with those who had served as mayors previously

The position of honorary alderman should be held to the same level of prestige as past mayors

Additional criteria added in on the responsibilities of honorary aldermen, including:


The role of Alderman is an honorary one, but to the public is perceived to be representative of the Council. In taking up this role all
Aldermen must agree and adhere to the protocol laid down by this Council. There are two key elements:


1)   That the person becoming Alderman does so in the full knowledge that they are perceived to be representative of the civic element of the Council and must act to the highest standards

2)   In taking this role, the Alderman becomes apolitical in public; knowing that any views expressed may be interpreted as views of the Council. Aldermen are not to speak on behalf of the Council in any way whatever.


The group saw this criteria in Guildford’s protocol and thought that some of the criteria should be replicated within Maidstone’s protocol to make the role of an Alderman very clear.






Outlining what rights are not conferred on Honorary Aldermen – taken directly from the act:


Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 provides that:

(i) Whilst an honorary alderman may attend and take part in such civic ceremonies as the Council may from time to time decide, they shall not, as such, have the right


·         to attend meetings of the Council or a committee of the Council in any capacity other than as a member of the public; or

·         to receive any allowances or other payments as are payable to councillors.


(ii) No honorary alderman shall, while serving as a councillor, be entitled to be addressed as honorary alderman or to attend or take part in any civic ceremonies of the council as an honorary alderman.


This provides clarity and transparency to the public and those nominated as Aldermen

Removal of the provision: ‘If an Honorary Alderman becomes a member again, and then becomes appointed mayor, they may retain the title of Honorary Alderman’

It was thought that the likelihood of this happening was so low that it was not considered relevant to include it in the protocol.

Insertion of wording ‘in order to protect the council’ when specifying when the council may wish to remove the title of Honorary Alderman

The group felt it was important to retain a mechanism to remove the honour, should it become necessary. But also that it must be clear that the provision is made only to protect the reputation of the council.




Honorary Alderman is presented with a certificate and nothing else

It was felt a badge of office or similar was excessive

Precedence for the honour’s board if more than one Alderman nominated and appointed at the same meeting – members should be ordered on the honours board by length of service if appointed at the same time

It was felt it was important that length of service is recognised in this case

Wording inserted to make it clear that Honorary Aldermen can’t be appointed posthumously

The group felt it was not appropriate to make this award posthumously