Patrick Stewart: Acting royalty who hails from Mirfield to be honoured with freedom of the borough

Mirfeld actor Patrick Stewart has been nominated to receive the freedom of the borough as Kirklees Council marks its 50th anniversary.
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Councillors will meet at an extraordinary council meeting to formally approve the actor honorary freeman status along with volunteer and fundraiser Joan Gorton, from Dalton, and poet laureate Simon Armitage, from Marsden.

This rare honour comes as Kirklees Council, which was founded on April 1, 1974, turns 50 this year.

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Leader of the Council, Coun Cathy Scott, said: “The achievements of Simon Armitage and Sir Patrick Stewart are well documented, both nationally and internationally, and both talk proudly about their Yorkshire roots.

Sir Patrick Stewart (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)Sir Patrick Stewart (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Sir Patrick Stewart (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

"Mrs Gorton is the co-founder of local charity Epilepsy Action Huddersfield, which she co-founded along with her late husband. She has worked tirelessly for more than 50 years, raising money for the charity, and campaigning for better resources and healthcare for those with the condition and their families.

“I am delighted we are able to put forward these people for their achievements and the contribution they have made in shining a spotlight on our great borough.”

Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Cahal Burke, said: “The granting of the freedom of the borough only happens on rare occasions and it honours figures who have made a significant contribution to life in the communities or achieved something outstanding.

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“These individuals have done just that, and I am proud that we are considering bestowing the highest civic honour on them.”

Former speaker of the House of Commons, Dewsbury-born Betty Boothroyd, was granted freeman status in November 1992.