Three ex-councillors given top awards for their service to Enfield

A former mayor and opposition group leader were among those honoured, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

credit Enfield Council
From left, Glynis Vince, Terry Neville and Christine Hamilton (credit Enfield Council)

Three former councillors have received ‘freedom of the borough’ honours for their work in Enfield. 

At an Enfield Civic Centre ceremony yesterday (Wednesday 19th), former Labour mayor Christine Hamilton, former Conservative opposition leader Terry Neville, and former Tory councillor Glynis Vince, were all granted ‘honorary freeman’ status.

The title is the highest honour a borough council can award, and is given to those deemed to have rendered “excellent services” to their area.

Council leader Nesil Caliskan said: “It is my honour to nominate Christine Hamilton this evening.

“I have known Christine since I was a teenager, and her husband, and in many ways learnt my political activism from them and I saw my political career develop with their guidance.

“Above all, though, I observed Christine’s utter commitment to the community that she lives in. I am so delighted she is able to be here in the chamber with her family and grandchildren.”

Opposition leader Alessandro Georgiou and Labour councillors Alev Cazimoglu, Chris James and Mahmut Aksanoglu also thanked Christine for her services and highlighted the role she played in championing the representation of women in senior positions as well as her dedication to Enfield Town Football Club, being the first woman to sit on its board. 

Speaking about Terry Neville, who stood down as a councillor two years ago, Cllr Georgiou said: “After 36 years of service as a councillor in Winchmore Hill and in Grange ward, cabinet member and leader of the Conservative group, it is only right that Terry receives this honour for all he has done to better the lives of all the residents of Enfield. Terry is the epitome of public service and decency in public life.”

Labour councillor and former council leader Doug Taylor said: “I’ve known Terry for about 25 years, since I became a councillor. 

“I have crossed swords with him in this chamber and I know that Terry always acted from a sense of integrity and a desire to improve the council, improve services, and improve the offer to our residents.”

Cllr Talyor, along with Conservative councillors Chris Dey, Andy Milne, and Chris Joannides, thanked Terry for his work, particularly in environmental services during his time as cabinet member.

A lifelong asthmatic, upon joining the council in 1986 Terry brought forward a motion to ban smoking in the building, which was approved, making Enfield the first London borough to introduced such a rule.

Speaking on Glynis Vince, deputy opposition leader Michael Rye said: “Glynis and I have known one another for some 40 years and we became close friends once we joined the council together back in 1994 and have served [together] up until the last election, very closely working particularly in the area of education.

“Glynis is one of those rare people in politics, that is political with a small ‘p’ rather than a big ‘p’, and is only here for the people out there, the young people in particular.”

Cllr Caliskan, Cllr Georgiou and Conservative councillors Joanne Laban and Julian Sampson also highlighted her work in children’s services, particularly foster care and adoption.

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