Bid to create more female Freemen

Pictured are the new Freemen of the City who were admitted on July 9 with the counci's chief executive, Mayor and Mayoress.' Back row, from left, are: Wendy Newbery, Chief Executive Mark Cullinan, Kerry Mason, Deborah Mason, Lisa Vines, Scott Preston 'Front Row, from left, are: Roger Sherlock, Ellen Brockbank, Mayor of Lancaster Coun Paul Woodruff, Mayoress Dee Wodruff, Julie Taylor

Pictured are the new Freemen of the City who were admitted on July 9 with the counci's chief executive, Mayor and Mayoress.' Back row, from left, are: Wendy Newbery, Chief Executive Mark Cullinan, Kerry Mason, Deborah Mason, Lisa Vines, Scott Preston 'Front Row, from left, are: Roger Sherlock, Ellen Brockbank, Mayor of Lancaster Coun Paul Woodruff, Mayoress Dee Wodruff, Julie Taylor

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EIGHT new Freemen of Lancaster were admitted at a Lancaster Town Hall ceremony with a difference – because this year, for the first time, six of them were women.

The council is now attempting to contact Freemen for a ballot which could further extend the right of women to take up the honour.

The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 made provision for daughters of existing Freemen to be admitted to the role.

But Lancaster also has three other admission criteria for Freemen.

Only men can become Freemen, if they have served an apprenticeship to a Freeman for a period of seven consecutive years; if they are natives of the city born within the old city boundaries; or if they have been resident within the boundaries for seven consecutive years.

See the Lancaster Guardian (21-07-11) for full story.