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Council meeting moves to Castle for special ceremony to appoint Honorary Freeman

Date Published: 23 June 2022
Oakham Castle

A special meeting of Rutland County Council’s Full Council will be held at Oakham Castle on Monday 27 June to appoint Sir Laurence Howard KCVO OBE as an Honorary Freeman.

The title of Honorary Freeman is given to persons who have rendered eminent services to their county and its residents. To be eligible, a prospective Freeman must be widely respected by their peers and communities, have made exemplary achievements and must not have held elected office with Rutland County Council.

Following a proposal in February, Sir Laurence has accepted the appointment and will receive his title as part of a special ceremony in Oakham Castle’s historic Great Hall.

Sir Laurence is a Rutland resident of almost 50 years. His professional background is in medical research and academia, having worked at the University of Leicester for more than three decades. Sir Laurence was also part of a group involved in setting up a dedicated scholarship for Rutland students at the University, which continues to this day.

Sir Laurence’s most notable service to the County came in 2003 when he was appointed as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland – a position as the Monarch’s representative in the county. Sir Laurence held this position for 15 years until his retirement in 2018. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2017 Birthday Honours.

Sir Laurence also served as a magistrate on the Leicestershire bench from 1979 to 2003, including a term as chairman of the Central Council of Magistrates’ Courts Committees.

In addition to these formal appointments Sir Laurence has been involved with numerous charitable causes and organisations in Rutland and has made an unquestionable contribution to the county and its communities.

Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: 

“Sir Laurence is an esteemed public figure who commands the trust, respect and admiration of the entire county. He has dedicated much of his life to public service and the betterment of others – particularly young people who have benefitted greatly through scholarships with the University of Leicester. To receive the title of Freeman is a tremendous honour and I can think of no one more deserving than Sir Laurence, in recognition of his incredible commitment and contribution to Rutland.”

No other reports or Council business will be discussed as part of the Special Full Council meeting, which takes place at Oakham Castle at 2.00pm on Monday 27 June. The meeting is open to the public, although space is limited and there is no parking available at the Castle.

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