BROXTOWE BESTOWS HIGHEST HONOURS ON COMMUNITY HEROES
FIVE local people were honoured at a special ceremony on 21st November from 7.00pm at the Town Hall, Beeston to install Honorary Freemen to the Borough of Broxtowe.
Broxtowe Borough Council admitted Ellie Leatherland, who runs Eastwood People’s Initiative, Brian Watson, who has dedicated his life to the Boys Brigade and Nigel Adams, who runs Hope Nottingham, as Honorary Freemen of the Borough at the special ceremony.
Former Councillors John Booth and Stan Heptinstall MBE were also admitted as Honorary Aldermen in recognition of their work for the local community during their time on the Council – over 57 years between them.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Jackson said: “These people have all served their communities over many years and have given their time freely and unreservedly. They are all incredibly worthy of this, the highest honour the Council can bestow.”
Broxtowe Borough Council recognises the outstanding contributions of local people every four years by admitting them as Honorary Freemen or Aldermen of the Borough – the two highest honours that this Council can bestow.
A final Freeman was unable to attend the ceremony and will be admitted at a special Council meeting in December.
For more information, please contact Broxtowe Borough Council on 0115 917 3210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stan Heptinstall MBE – Alderman
Stan Heptinstall was born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1946 where he lived until he was seven with his father Stanley, mother Florence and younger sister Brenda. The family moved to St Annes-on-Sea before settling in Blackpool when Stan was 14.
Stan left for the University of Newcastle in 1964 where he obtained a BSc and then a PhD in Chemistry. It was while in Newcastle that he met his wife Lillian. Married for nearly 50 years, they have four children – Victoria, Robert, Amanda, and James, who live all across the world and they are proud grandparents to ten grandchildren.
In 1972, Stan and Lillian left Newcastle and moved to Arnold, before settling in Bramcote. Stan started work as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the University of Nottingham’s newly established Medical School. He liked it so much that he stayed there for the whole of his career, becoming a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, then Reader and later he was made a Professor. He also helped launch a new spinout company, Platelet Solutions Ltd, based on research performed at the University over many years.
A Liberal Democrat, Stan was first elected to Broxtowe Borough Council as a representative for Bramcote in 1991 and served continually for the next 24 years until he retired from the Council in 2015, having spent his final year as Mayor of the Borough. Colleagues remember Stan’s passion for the local community, which often lead to emotional and heartfelt speeches in Full Council where he always fought for what was right for the people of the Borough. His first position was as a member of the Technical and Leisure Services Committee, followed by Policy Committee.
Stan later became a member of Cabinet where he was highly respected for his strong morals and passion for supporting the local area and the people who lived there. For many years, he served as Portfolio Holder for Environment as a strong advocate for protecting the environment for future generations. Stan acted as the Council’s representative on the cross-county Waste Group and helped support major projects including introducing a new waste collection system and garden waste collections to encourage high rates of recycling, as well as overseeing the Council becoming a recognised Wildlife Guardian.
As part of an initiative to introduce Community Action Teams (CATs), where local people could go and speak to their Ward Councillors and Officers about local issues, Stan was pivotal in setting up the Bramcote CAT which was a vital forum for Councillors, Officers and local people to engage directly with each other. Stan chaired the Bramcote CAT until his retirement from politics, leaving a lasting legacy at the group which continues to be a well-attended and active community hub.
Stan also championed a project in 2011 between the Council and members of the Bramcote CAT to set up the first hyper-local website in the Borough to report on local news in the Bramcote area. Once the Council had provided training and helped set up the website, called Bramcote Today, the group, supported by Stan, took over and the site received over 14,000 visitors in its first three months. It continues to be an online hub for the Bramcote Community and other areas followed the model as best practice. In 2011, the project was shortlisted for two national awards.
Another project that Stan was instrumental in was changing the postal address in Bramcote to reduce regular confusion regarding similar delivery addresses in Bramcote and Beeston. The change received almost 100% backing from Bramcote residents. He also co-edited the publication Focus on Bramcote that was delivered free-of-charge to every resident at least four times a year to make sure local people were kept informed about Council updates and decisions.
In addition to his work on the Council, Stan has been a devoted volunteer in the Broxtowe community, serving on countless groups and organisations. He was a Committee Member and also a Chairman of the Bramcote Hills Community Association and helped found the Bramcote Care Group on which he still serves as a volunteer. He serves on the Bramcote Parochial Church Council and is currently the Lay-Chair. He was also the Chairman of the Bramcote Millennium Committee. He has acted as a Trustee for Beeston Shopmobility and the FunDays Charity, is a member of the Executive Committee of South West Notts Scouts, and is currently the Chairman of the Committee. He is a Member and Trustee for the Bramcote Hills Community Café Steering Group.
Stan has been a member of the Church Choir at Bramcote Parish Church for many years and recently he was elected as Churchwarden at Bramcote Parish Church. He has also served on Nottinghamshire County Council representing Bramcote and Stapleford and was also on Stapleford Town Council.
Stan helped establish the Bramcote and Stapleford Golden Jubilee Group which organised the first Hemlock Happening in 2002. The event is now one of the most popular in the Borough’s events calendar and it was only recently that Stan stepped down as Chairman of the Group.
In 1997 Stan was awarded an MBE for “services to Bramcote in the County of Nottinghamshire”. Over twenty years later, Stan still feels incredibly proud of this honour and indebted to those who nominated him.
Over the 24 years he served on the Council, Stan was a compassionate and devoted member of the Broxtowe community, where he always fought for the best for the people of the Borough. This makes him truly deserving of the honour of Alderman of the Borough.