Civic honours

[L to R: Honorary Alderman Andrew Furse; the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Dine Romero and Honorary Alderman Rob Appleyard]

Two former Mayors and Charter Trustees of the City of Bath (Bath Ward Councillors), who have served the citizens of Bath have been honoured by being appointed Honorary Aldermen of the City. The title is given by way of thanks for the valued contribution given over 12 years of service, or as Mayor, once they are no longer a serving Councillor.

The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Bath (Councillor Dine Romero) made the presentations at a Ceremony in the Council Chamber on 3 October, and said “It was with pleasure, and some sadness, that these honours were bestowed.  Pleasure, as this is a lovely way of recognising the valued service given by former Councillor colleagues, and sadness since this marks a presumed end to their service in that capacity.’

Rob Appleyard, became a Charter Trustee in 2015 when he was re-elected onto Bath & North East Somerset Council as a Liberal Democrat Councillor to represent Lambridge Ward in Bath, and he was elected again in 2019.  He served as Deputy Mayor in 2017/18 and as Mayor in 2022/23.   

He always looked to put people first and served on the boards of Citizen Advice, B&NES Carers Centre, and social landlord of Curo Group (9 yrs), and focused on addressing inequalities in our communities.  His theme for his year in Office was the ‘Roots and Canopy of Our City’, supporting, promoting and encouraging the many groups and organisations who provide a canopy of support, opportunity, or fun, to the wellbeing of residents.  Rob held several Trustee positions, which included the B&NES Dementia Action Alliance Charity, and currently with RICE.  

Andrew Furse was elected to Bath City Council in 1994 as a Liberal Democrat representing Kingsmead Ward.  He was elected to Bath & North East Somerset Council in 1999 and was re-elected at every subsequent local election until this year, when he decided to stand down after giving 26 years of valuable service.  During this time, he was Deputy Mayor in 2009 and Mayor in 2012/13.  

His Mayoral theme was ‘NEET Opportunities – the Business of Youth’.  Andrew was an advocate for the community and recognised that one of the challenges facing the city, and the whole of the UK, was youth unemployment.  This was shown as a statistic called ‘NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training)’.

While the title is a purely honorary role, those invited to have the title conferred upon them are invited to civic ceremonies and may be asked to represent the Mayor if they or the Deputy Mayor are otherwise engaged.  The new Honorary Aldermen will next join the Mayor in a Civic Procession to Bath Abbey for the Royal British Legion’s Remembrance Service on Sunday 12 November.