South Tyneside Council's Cabinet has endorsed the proposal that NHS and Care staff and Key Workers that live and care for people in South Tyneside receive the Honorary Freedom of the Borough.
The proposal will now be considered at a meeting of Constitution Committee who, if they also support the proposal, will make a formal recommendation to a future Extraordinary meeting of Borough Council.
The Freedom of the Borough is one of the most prestigious civic awards in South Tyneside. The rare honour has only been awarded to 10 people or organisations since 1981. If approved by Borough Council the NHS, Care Staff and Key Workers will join The Rt Hon Lord Don Dixon P.C.D.L, The Citizens of Wuppertal and 205 (3rd Durham Voluntary Artillery) Battery Royal Artillery (volunteers) and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade in receiving it.
The Freedom of the Borough will be considered as a collective honour for NHS and Care staff and Key Workers such as, GPs, pharmacists, emergency services, refuse collectors, cleaners, delivery drivers, teachers, workers in contact centres and supermarkets, and everybody else who is playing a key role in keeping South Tyneside safe and ensuring essential services continue to run during the coronavirus crisis.
Councillor Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation and Chair of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum said: "I am delighted that Cabinet have endorsed the Freedom of the Borough for our coronavirus heroes, it is the highest honour to be bestowed on any individual or organisation.
"The selfless individuals who have served in the NHS, our Care teams and all other Key Workers are a credit to the Borough, and it is fitting that they be considered for Freedom of the Borough.
"Our local heroes have been on the frontline during this terrible crisis we owe it to them to see that there is a lasting tribute."
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