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.