ONE OF the city’s most familiar faces who spent more than four decades as a councillor has been granted the Freedom of Worcester.
Mike Layland was honoured last Monday (October 20) in recognition of the lifelong contribution he has made to the democratic, social and cultural well-being of Worcester.
Mr Layland was a councillor for a total of 44 years, mayor twice, and also High Sherriff and City Chamberlain and now has a freedom plaque placed in the Lower Hall of the Guildhall.
Born and bred in Worcester, Mr Layland was first elected to the city council as a Labour councillor at a by-election for the Holy Trinity Ward in October 1966 – a position he held until 1992.
After a two year break, Mr Layland returned to represent Nunnery Wood as an independent from 1994 until 2012 when he retired.
He was first mayor in 1981/82, when he welcomed Prince Charles to the city, before serving his second term in 2010/11 and has represented the council on a wide range of charities and outside bodies, including Worcester River Sports Committee and the Crematorium and Cemeteries Forum.
Other roles included being chairman of Worcester Carnival Committee for 27 years and he has been closely involved with Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club for many years.
Mayor of Worcester, Coun Alan Amos, sent Mr Layland a special scroll, signed by himself and managing director, Duncan Sharkey, bearing the city crest to mark the occasion.
“These ceremonies are extremely important because they represent the considered will and opinion of the whole city council and are only conferred after lengthy debate and discussion,” Coun Amos said.
“Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to mount a prestigious ceremony in which to make these lifetime awards.
“The Freedom of the City is a hugely significant recognition that any person or military organisation can be given by the elected representatives of the people of Worcester, so well done to the very deserving recipients.”
Also honoured with the Freedom of Worcester last Thursday (October 23) were The Queen’s Royal Hussars – a regiment which has strong links with the city.