Councillor Ray Woodward is to become the second Honorary Freeman of the Parish of Whitwick in recognition of his outstanding service to the village as an elected councillor for nearly 30 years.

The honour was conferred at a Special Meeting of the Parish Council held at 7pm on Thursday, 24 September but in the exceptional circumstances of the current pandemic the meeting was held virtually. All were welcome to ‘attend’ and join the parish council at the Zoom meeting.

Councillor Lisa Collins, Chairman of Whitwick Parish Council, said “Ray was elected as a founder member of Whitwick Parish Council when it was set up in 2011. He was also elected as Chairman of the Parish Council, a position that he held for 7 out of the first 8 years. He has a depth of knowledge about the local community and happily volunteers to help the parish council get things done – whether it has been putting poppies on lampposts or continuing to represent Whitwick by serving on the Whitwick Quarry Liaison Committee – a position he held for the North West Leicestershire District Council and for Whitwick Parish Council. Parish Councillors wanted to do something to recognise the many years given in service to our local community and the devotion he has shown. Although it’s only an honorary title, granting Ray the Freedom of the Parish is the highest honour we can bestow and this honour is truly well deserved.”

The event deserves a proper celebration but councillors and family are not able to join Cllr Woodward at a physical reception due to the current restrictions. We hope to have ‘part two’ of this event at a later date, possibly at the Annual Meeting in May 2021, if local conditions allow.”