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Lord Barnett to be awarded Freedom of the Borough

Press release   •   Apr 15, 2014 13:22 BST

Plans are being finalised for a ceremony to mark the distinguished career of former Heywood and Royton MP, the Right Honourable Lord Joel Barnett, who is to become a Freeman of the Borough later this month, the highest honour the council can bestow on an individual or group.

Earlier this year councillors at Rochdale Town Hall agreed to honour Lord Barnett from Heywood for his service to the people of the borough through his political career.

Born on 14 October 1923, Joel Barnett worked as an accountant before being elected onto Prestwich Borough Council.  He was elected Member of Parliament for Heywood and Royton in 1964 and served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1974 to 1979, gaining a seat in the cabinet from 1977 onwards in the Callaghan Government. Lord Barnett also acted as shadow spokesperson for business, innovation and skills from 1970 to 1974. In 1983, he was made a life peer as Baron Barnett, of Heywood and Royton.

The ceremony will take place at Rochdale Town Hall on St George’s Day – Wednesday 23 April.

Deputy Chief Executive Linda Fisher said the council want to recognise the significant impact he made to local and national life during his career:

“Councillors were unanimous in their support of this honour.  The Freedom of the Borough is only awarded to local people who have made a significant contribution to the locality or have achieved something outstanding.”

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