Freeman Peter Matthews JP

Freeman Peter Matthews JP

Peter with his badge of office and sheep ready to pass through the town

In October, last year, I was pleased to be able to second a motion at the full council meeting, that was to admin Peter Matthews as a freeman of the borough of the High Peak.

On Monday 13th February, the second – follow up part to that motion took place with a ceremony that took place in Glossop Cricket Club to induct Peter Matthews JP as a freeman of the borough of the High Peak.

Peter was first elected as a councillor to the Glossop Borough in 1964, and served as Mayor of Glossop in 1969. Peter was a councillor until 3 years after the establishment of High Peak Borough Council in 1974.

Peter became a Magistrate in 1969, a role he held for over 36 years until his retirement, including been chair of combined High Peak bench, and upon his retirement in 2005 he was placed on the supplementary list of magistrates and retains the title of Justice of the Peace.

In 2007 he became an independent member of the Council’s standards committee, becoming chair of it in 2008 – a role he held until the change of the 2011 local government act which created the role of the Independent Person, a role he continues to hold to this day using his experience to guide the council’s standards committee.

Freeman Peter Matthews JP 2The ceremony saw speeches from the Mayor of the High Peak, who paid tribute to Peter’s service, commenting that he could think of no more fitting tribute to the 150th Anniversary of Glossop being granted its charter than to honour the service of a true Glossopian. This was followed by speeches from myself and the leader of the council, and then the presentation of an illuminated scroll and badge.

The event fitted nicely into the theme / feel from that weekend which had been all about local democracy, and Peter been a prime example of the public / civic service that a whole host of local people already complete across, Gamesley, Glossopdale and the High Peak, and something that we need to encourage and support more of.

Included in the audience along with family members were a number of current locals councillors, past mayors, and the High Sherif of Derbyshire.

Freeman Peter Matthews JP 3The ceremony also provided an opportunity to recognise the last person made a freeman of the borough, with Ray Davies who was inducted in 2007 also been presented with a badge recognising the honour.

You can view more pictures from the event at : https://flic.kr/s/aHskNW3v79