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Alan Benson MBE to receive Freedom of the Borough

11 March 2022

The Leader of Richmond Council has announced the Council’s intention to offer 'Freedom of the Borough' to Alan Benson MBE. Alan is Disability Campaigner and Trustee of local charity Ruils, in recognition of his dedication to championing the rights of disabled adults and children, particularly in Richmond upon Thames.

Alan is a leading disability campaigner featured on the Shaw Trust's Disability Power 100 list of the most influential disabled people. He also sits on the Board of Transport for All, London Travel Watch, and co-chairs the Department for Transport’s Inclusive Transport Stakeholder Group.

Speaking at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 8 March 2022, Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council, announced the intention. A special Council meeting will be held to vote on the proposal.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

"Alan has made a remarkable impact on the lives of disabled and older people, particularly in London. With a special interest in transport, Alan and the teams he works with have achieved many things for accessible transport across the city – in particular, ensuring the new Elizabeth Line will be fully accessible from its first day."

Councillor Rob O’Carroll, Richmond Council’s Disability Champion, said:

"We are honoured to have Alan as a resident of our borough and are grateful for the work he does locally with Ruils, who play such an important role in helping disabled and older people live independently in Richmond upon Thames."

The Freedom of the Borough is the highest award that Richmond Council can give to residents and recognises eminent services of local people to their Borough. The award dates back to the middle-ages when Freemen had commercial privileges and a route into a position of power in a town or city. It does not convey with it any legal rights or responsibilities.

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Up to: March 2022

Updated: 11 March 2022

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