Freedom of the City granted to former Mayor

Freedon of the City granted to former Mayor Mike Layland

Freedon of the City granted to former Mayor Mike Layland

First published in News
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

ONE of Worcester's best-known sons has been handed Freedom of the City - a salute to more than 40 years public service.

Mike Layland, a veteran former councillor who retired in 2012, was handed the honour after all but four members of Worcester City Council voted it through last night.

The 77-year-old, who represented Nunnery before stepping down, now joins the likes of Worcester Warriors owner Cecil Duckworth, Sir Edward Elgar and former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in getting the award.

During the debate two Labour councillors, Jo Hodges and Roger Berry, voted against it, with Cllr Hodges claiming fellow politicians are "afraid of negative press".

But despite her remarks all but two of the rest of the chamber backed the motion, leading to warm tributes.

Councillor David Tibbutt said: "He was born here, raised here, educated here and has served this city for a little less than half a century.

"He was always available 24/7, he never passed the buck, he argued his points vociferously but he always listened."

Councillor Roger Knight also led the tributes, saying he served the city "supremely well".

"No-one deserves this award more than Mike Layland does," he said.

"It's obvious to all who know him that this honour is so well deserved - we shouldn't be debating which way to vote, we should be standing up and applauding."

Cllr Hodges argued that Mr Layland, who served Nunnery, did not make "a contribution outstanding enough" to get the Freedom of the City.

She said: "Are we now saying that longevity in office is sufficient enough to confer the honour of Freedom of the City?"

She told the room what people like Mr Duckworth had given "back to the city" was "way beyond what could be expected", whereas Mr Layland's public service was "not above and beyond" many current councillors.

She also said she was "quite well prepared" for what she deemed "negative press", insisting her colleagues were "afraid".

But Councillor Richard Boorn, also from Labour, said he was "in no doubt" how people across the city wanted him to vote, saying he backed it.

Councillor Marc Bayliss said: "For some people I suspect it wouldn't matter if Mike served 144 years - I regret that.

"To get to over 40 years service, the huge contribution he made to this city, it should be recognised."

Councillor Lucy Hodgson said his life read like "a roll of honour".

Mr Layland was first elected in 1966, and up to 2012 he served all but two years as a Worcester councillor.

He was Mayor of Worcester twice, a former city Chamberlain and High Sheriff, and has described it as "the greatest honour of my life".

Labour's Paul Denham and Alan Amos abstained during the vote.

Mr Layland was first elected for the Labour Party but quit to become an independent.

Comments (16)

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10:54am Wed 26 Mar 14

disgusted with local F.A says...

Congratulations Mr Layland well deserved honour to a gentleman and a genuine Worcester Stalwart
Congratulations Mr Layland well deserved honour to a gentleman and a genuine Worcester Stalwart disgusted with local F.A
  • Score: 9

11:03am Wed 26 Mar 14

skychip says...

Good do with him representing Nunnery Ward now with all that is going on in the area.
Good do with him representing Nunnery Ward now with all that is going on in the area. skychip
  • Score: 5

12:56pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

No suprise at the support and congratulations from the Tories via Robin Walker.
No suprise at the support and congratulations from the Tories via Robin Walker. Jabbadad
  • Score: -5

1:44pm Wed 26 Mar 14

nevermindeh says...

Jabbadad wrote:
No suprise at the support and congratulations from the Tories via Robin Walker.
Hmm.........sour grapes,perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: No suprise at the support and congratulations from the Tories via Robin Walker.[/p][/quote]Hmm.........sour grapes,perhaps? nevermindeh
  • Score: 10

11:53pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Not at all, have never envied or relished many things about the councillor.
Not at all, have never envied or relished many things about the councillor. Jabbadad
  • Score: -6

7:51am Thu 27 Mar 14

nevermindeh says...

Jabbadad wrote:
Not at all, have never envied or relished many things about the councillor.
That tends to prove my point!
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Not at all, have never envied or relished many things about the councillor.[/p][/quote]That tends to prove my point! nevermindeh
  • Score: 6

9:58am Thu 27 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

nevermindeh, you are trying to say things that have not been said or even comtemplated. Playing political devils advocaat has frequently been a verbally dangerous game. Something I try to avoid. ha ha.
nevermindeh, you are trying to say things that have not been said or even comtemplated. Playing political devils advocaat has frequently been a verbally dangerous game. Something I try to avoid. ha ha. Jabbadad
  • Score: -3

10:53am Thu 27 Mar 14

nevermindeh says...

Jabbadad wrote:
nevermindeh, you are trying to say things that have not been said or even comtemplated. Playing political devils advocaat has frequently been a verbally dangerous game. Something I try to avoid. ha ha.
Obviously you like to comment but do not like responses,we've all noticed that. I can assure you i do not play "devils advocaat" as you state.....if thats what the devil drinks.......nor for that matter do I play devils ADVOCATE. I simply wonder what your great problem is with a man who did his best while not assuming all would necessarily agree with him.
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: nevermindeh, you are trying to say things that have not been said or even comtemplated. Playing political devils advocaat has frequently been a verbally dangerous game. Something I try to avoid. ha ha.[/p][/quote]Obviously you like to comment but do not like responses,we've all noticed that. I can assure you i do not play "devils advocaat" as you state.....if thats what the devil drinks.......nor for that matter do I play devils ADVOCATE. I simply wonder what your great problem is with a man who did his best while not assuming all would necessarily agree with him. nevermindeh
  • Score: 4

11:41am Thu 27 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

I have no problems whatsoever but repeat no suprise for the Tory Support,
read into it what you will.
I have no problems whatsoever but repeat no suprise for the Tory Support, read into it what you will. Jabbadad
  • Score: -2

12:25pm Thu 27 Mar 14

nevermindeh says...

Jabbadad wrote:
I have no problems whatsoever but repeat no suprise for the Tory Support,
read into it what you will.
I think we have all "read into it" that be it Tory,Labour or the man in the street people wish to congratulate and wish a man,....... who has devoted is life to his birthplace,.....well and thank him. Just as a point of interest what have you done for Worcester?
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: I have no problems whatsoever but repeat no suprise for the Tory Support, read into it what you will.[/p][/quote]I think we have all "read into it" that be it Tory,Labour or the man in the street people wish to congratulate and wish a man,....... who has devoted is life to his birthplace,.....well and thank him. Just as a point of interest what have you done for Worcester? nevermindeh
  • Score: 2

12:37pm Thu 27 Mar 14

CJH says...

nevermindeh wrote:
Jabbadad wrote:
I have no problems whatsoever but repeat no suprise for the Tory Support,
read into it what you will.
I think we have all "read into it" that be it Tory,Labour or the man in the street people wish to congratulate and wish a man,....... who has devoted is life to his birthplace,.....well and thank him. Just as a point of interest what have you done for Worcester?
Uh-oh...
[quote][p][bold]nevermindeh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: I have no problems whatsoever but repeat no suprise for the Tory Support, read into it what you will.[/p][/quote]I think we have all "read into it" that be it Tory,Labour or the man in the street people wish to congratulate and wish a man,....... who has devoted is life to his birthplace,.....well and thank him. Just as a point of interest what have you done for Worcester?[/p][/quote]Uh-oh... CJH
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory.
Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory. Jabbadad
  • Score: -3

2:45pm Thu 27 Mar 14

CJH says...

Jabbadad wrote:
Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory.
I didn't ask the question!
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory.[/p][/quote]I didn't ask the question! CJH
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Thu 27 Mar 14

nevermindeh says...

CJH wrote:
Jabbadad wrote:
Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory.
I didn't ask the question!
CJH.....Don't worry,....sadly some people are easily confused,especially when they so obviously set on trying to put other people down.
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory.[/p][/quote]I didn't ask the question![/p][/quote]CJH.....Don't worry,....sadly some people are easily confused,especially when they so obviously set on trying to put other people down. nevermindeh
  • Score: 4

6:39pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Please tell me where I have said anything to put people down in my postings? Unless you know something I don't?
Please tell me where I have said anything to put people down in my postings? Unless you know something I don't? Jabbadad
  • Score: -4

9:20pm Thu 27 Mar 14

CJH says...

Jabbadad wrote:
Please tell me where I have said anything to put people down in my postings? Unless you know something I don't?
"Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory." Why did you direct this at me when I didn't comment on, or question, anything you said?
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: Please tell me where I have said anything to put people down in my postings? Unless you know something I don't?[/p][/quote]"Possibly no more or no less than you CJH but then I don't claim to have, and I don't seek glory." Why did you direct this at me when I didn't comment on, or question, anything you said? CJH
  • Score: 2

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