ONE of the founding members of Stroud Town Council has received the title of Honorary Freeman in recognition of his services to the community.
John Marjoram was the first Green Party councillor to be elected in the UK (1985) and served at town and district levels for 36 years.
During that time he helped found the town council in 1990, became the UK’s first Green Party mayor and served as mayor for 10 civic years. He served continuously in Trinity Ward until 2021.
Current Stroud mayor Stella Parkes said: “For the past three decades John’s dedication and perseverance towards matters of the community has been truly remarkable.
“He has been pivotal in so major campaigns and improvements to the town. He remains so passionate about this town which he has called his home.”
Born in 1939, Mr Marjoram moved to Stroud with his young family in 1968. He became a pacifist as a teenager and moved to Stroud because of his affiliation and interest in the work of the Quakers who had a strong presence in the town.
Throughout his life his pacifism and opposition to nuclear arms have been at the heart of his work.
During the 1970s, he was a founding member of the successful Stroud Campaign Against the Ringroad (aka SCAR 1974-1978), and as a member of Stroud District Council planning committee prevented many unsightly developments happening in the town and surrounding area.
He was pivotal in preventing the Hill Paul building being demolished, saving Uplands Post Office and the town council’s purchase of Lansdown Hall.
He also instigated the unique idea of The Mayor’s Bench, meaning that everyone had easy and informal access to councillors and were able to voice their concerns.
It is the first time the town council has awarded the title of Honorary Freeman. It was presented in a small reception at the town council offices.
Mr Marjoram wrote a few words to be read out at the presentation. “I feel very moved to have been awarded this honour and want to thank you for the support you have given me over these many long years,” he said.
“Politics have been my life and I am proud of the work I was able to do for the people of Stroud, who are very close to my heart.”