NINE former councillors in West Berkshire have been recognised for their “eminent service” and dedication to serving the community.

In a ceremony on January 9, they were conferred the title of honorary alderman by West Berkshire Council.

The title was awarded to Pamela Bale, Paul Bryant, Keith Chopping, Adrian Edwards, Graham Jones, Mollie Lock, Anthony Stansfeld, Quentin Webb, and Emma Webster.

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Pamela Bale worked in the computer industry and was first elected in 2005. She served 14 years in total, including fighting for flood prevention.

Councillor Alan Law said: “She is an example of how to get things done for local residents.”

Dr Paul Bryant studied in a PhD in maths and later worked on supercomputers. He was on the council between 1987–91 and later between 2003–19. Cllr Clive Hooker described him as an expert in planning and said he “served tirelessly and impeccably”.

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Keith Chopping went to school at St Bartholomew’s in Newbury and later qualified as a chartered surveyor. He was first elected in 2003. Cllr Hilary Cole said he was “one of life’s true gentlemen”.

Adrian Edwards served for 19 years, and was also mayor of Newbury twice. Cllr Beck described him as a “legend”. He said: “He has given enormously his time to the people of West Berkshire.”

Graham Jones, a pharmacist, was the previous leader of the council between 2005–12 and 2017–19, and once cycled every parish in the district in one day. Cllr Hilary Cole said: “He has been a good friend to many. He always listened to what people had to say”.

Mollie Lock served for 25 years on the council. Cllr Owen Jeffery said she had an attitude of being supportive and “getting the best out of people”. He described her “great achievements, particularly for schools and young people”.

Anthony Stansfeld enlisted in the army aged 17, and has served in Borneo and Northern Ireland. He has been the police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley since 2012, but is stepping down this year. Cllr Claire Rowles described him as “our very own 007”. 

Quentin Webb, a professional charity fundraiser, was first elected in 2003 and served for 16 years. Cllr Graham Pask said: “He worked hard and tirelessly for the community he represented.” 

Emma Webster was the youngest councillor in West Berkshire when she was first elected in 2003. Cllr Rick Jones said: “She helped hundreds of residents who had concerns, problems or indeed, good ideas. She was not afraid to become deeply and passionately involved.”

The three female ex-councillors, Ms Bale, Ms Lock and Ms Webster, are the first ever honorary alderwomen on West Berkshire Council.