Ten former councillors have been recognised for their years of service by becoming honorary aldermen of Devon County Council.
In a ceremony at Sandy Park, council leader John Hart paid tribute and said they had carried out â€œextraordinary service for Devon.â€
John Mathews, Polly Colthorpe, Caroline Chugg, Barry Parsons, Richard Edgell, Nick Way, Gordon Hook, Roger Giles, Stuart Barker and John Clatworthy received the titles for their service â€“ the eleventh time the council has honoured former members.
The position of alderman is a ceremonial honour that doesnâ€™t entitle holders to special privileges, but it does mean they can attend civic functions and council meetings, although they canâ€™t vote.
Cllr Hart said: â€œI sincerely thank you for the work that youâ€™ve all done over the years to make Devon county one of the best counties in the country as far as Iâ€™m concerned, if not the best. In fact, Iâ€™ve always said we are the best in the west.â€
Opposition leader Councillor Alan Connett said it was a 'richly deserved reward for their many years of service. I think between them itâ€™s about 145 years or so of combined service to the people of Devon'.
â€œI think itâ€™s a universal truth that no one became a councillor for the riches, rewards, fame and recognition that others have in other walks of life.
"Actually, itâ€™s hard work, itâ€™s supporting communities, itâ€™s supporting people and while some things get publicised â€¦ so much more is done by a tweak here, a tweak there, helping a resident, sorting out a community group, those things that never make a focus newsletter, leaflet or letter in a newspaper.â€
Cllr Connett added: â€œAll of the aldermen today have given exemplary service and richly deserve both their retirement and the award that weâ€™re giving today.â€
The council chairman, Councillor Jeffrey Trail, presented the former members, except for Polly Colthorpe who was unable to attend, with a commemorative scroll and badge. He said: â€œAll of you have given fantastic service to Devon County Council and the residents of Devon, and I thank you wholeheartedly for the whole of this current county council.â€
North Devon Gazette Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.