Longest-serving councillor awarded Freedom of Stroud

Longest-serving councillor awarded Freedom of Stroud

John Majoram, the UK’s longest-serving Green Councilor, has been awarded the Freedom of Stroud and made an honorary citizen in recognition of his services to the community.

John speaks to the police station demo

In 1985 Councilor Marjoram was one of the first Green Party councilors to be elected in Britain and became a founding member of Stroud City Council in 1990. He served at city and county level for 36 years, including 10 years as mayor – again the UK’s first. He served continuously at Trinity Ward until 2021 when he retired from active politics at the age of 82.

Current Mayor of Stroud, Stella Parkes, said: “Over the past three decades, John’s dedication and tenacity to community affairs has been truly remarkable. He was instrumental in such important campaigns and improvements in the city. He remains so passionate about this city that he has called it home.”

Councilor Marojoram, born 1939, moved to Stroud in 1968 because of his interest in Quaker work and a pacifist from his youth. Throughout his life, pacifism and opposition to nuclear weapons have been at the heart of his work.

John and Andy Read at Stroud Town Council’s 20th Anniversary

During the 1970s Councilor Marjoram was a founding member of the Stroud campaign against the ring road (aka SCAR 1974-1978) and also prevented many other unsightly developments in the city and surrounding area. He was instrumental in preventing the demolition of the Hill Paul building, saving the Uplands Post Office and the City Council’s purchase of Lansdown Hall.

While studying for his Diploma in Youth and Social Work in 1972, John read a book called The Limits to Growth. Realizing how quickly the planet’s resources were being depleted, he was inspired to join the new People’s Party, which later became the Ecology Party and eventually the Green Party.

The City Council was also the initiator of ‘The Mayor’s Bench’, which gave anyone easy and informal access to councillors.

This is the first time the City Council has bestowed the title of Honorary Mayor, and the ceremony was held during a small reception at the City Council offices.

Cllr Majoram wrote a few words to be read at the presentation: “I am very moved to have this honor and I want to thank you for the support you have given me over these many long years.

“Politics has been my life and I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to do for the people of Stroud who are close to my heart.”

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