New award will put the spotlight on Honiton residents behind good acts and community engagement
PUBLISHED: 16:56 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:28 03 December 2018
The good that Honiton residents do in the town are set to be recognised in the shape of a new community award.
The initiative to reward community service was brought to the table by Honiton’s mayor, Councillor Henry Brown, at the town council’s latest meeting.
Under the proposal, Cllr Brown would lead a working group to create a criteria for nominating and presenting the accolade.
Recipients of the award would receive a badge and certificate.
Cllr Vera Howard said she would like to know the costs involved before the council agreed to support the idea.
Cllr Brown said: “The report says the badge will be designed by Honiton Community College.
“The clerk and I have looked at costings of the badges and they range from £5 and up.”
Cllr John Taylor said the council could not run the award during Purdah (pre-election period), as it could be deemed as ‘bribery’ - this was agreed by Cllr Brown.
Cllr Ray Hanratty raised concerns that the town council’s Honoured Citizens award is ‘very rarely granted’.
He said: “This is due to the exceptional circumstances and service one must demonstrate in order to be even nominated.
“Surely we could lessen the qualifications for the award and make it more general.”
Cllr Brown likened the Honoured Citizen award to a British Empire Medal, adding: “It’s awarded because of extreme service people have demonstrated in the town over many years.
“This community award would be lower-tiered, a bit like a OBE or MBE. This is to engage members of the public more, but not to remove the importance of those who have previously received an Honoured Ciziten award. This is to recognise and reward residents for small acts.”
Cllr Brown said the gong would be called ‘The Community Award’, but the name was not fixed and could be changed.
He added: “It’s not to compete with the Honoured Citizen Award - it’s here to complement it.
“The badge will be created and it will be similar so there is consistency between the two.
“Also, it’s because we are trying to recognise a lot of the work that young people do in our town, one-off acts, and community engagement as well.”
Cllr Brown’s proposal was carried by nine votes for and one against.