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Ex-council quartet get 'House of Lords equivalent'
A FORMER leader and one of the men credited with kickstarting the Eden shopping centre project were among ex-councillors awarded the 'equivalent of a peerage in the House of Lords'.
The quartet of veteran public servants received the highest accolade awarded by Wycombe District Council last night – becoming honorary aldermen.
Ex-WDC Leader Pam Priestley, David Cox, Bill Jennings and James Malcolm Blanksby, were given the title.
The first three all held the role of Chairman.
Cllr Ron Gaffney paid tribute to former teacher Mr Cox, quipping that with his pleasant and persuasive manner he “could sell sand to Arabs”.
On Bill Jennings, ex-leader Cllr Lesley Clarke said “Eden wouldn't be here without him”.
She also commended his prudent management of the council's coffers when he was finance cabinet member, adding he could lend a hand to the crisis plagued Greek government, the country where he now has a holiday home.
Cllr Bill Bendyshe-Brown said Mrs Priestley, a former German teacher, first elected in 1983, was a model councillor.
The chamber was reminded of her encounter with Princess Diana when she visited High Wycombe.
Cllr Bendyshe-Brown remarked that the alderman title was like getting a peerage in the House of Lords.
Mr Blanksby, also a former Marlow Bottom Parish Council Chairman, who served at WDC for 15 years, said he had been touched since retiring in 2010 by the number of calls and letters thanking him.