A COUNCILLOR who has represented Bewdley on several authorities over nearly 40 years has been granted the freedom of Bewdley.

Louise Edginton, 84, an Independent, became the first person since 1971 to receive the honour when Bewdley Mayor Linda Candlin presented her with a certificate - also known as an "illuminated scroll" - last week.

Mrs Edginton is currently a Bewdley town councillor but will not stand for re-election next Thursday next week. She has represented Bewdley across Worcestershire County, Wyre Forest District and the town councils over a period of nearly 40 years and was Bewdley Mayor in 2006/07.

She told The Shuttle: "I was delighted but very surprised to receive it. I am told people in Bewdley think I have worked very hard for them over the years I have been on the council and always tried to do what the people of Bewdley want.

"If anybody wanted any help I have been there to help them and that is all you can do. I moved to Bewdley 57 years ago because my husband loved it and I had been here 20 years when I decided to run as a councillor."

On stepping down, she added: "I am 84 years old and it is time I moved on."

Receiving the freedom of the town, Mrs Edginton joins illustrious holders of the title, of which there have been only six since 1925, including former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.

As well as being presented with the scroll, her name has been inscribed on a new honours board, which will be hung above the mayor’s chair in the council chamber.

More than 50 people, including many past mayors of Bewdley, attended to celebrate the presentation.

Mrs Candlin said: "Louise has worked so hard for everyone in Bewdley over a lifetime and thoroughly deserves this award.

"Living right in the town centre, she meets a lot of people and is always happy to help out in whatever way she can. Her commitment just cannot be beaten."

She served on the county council for four years between 1997 and 2001, the district council for 26 years from 1976 to 2002 and the town council for 35 years from 1979 until this year. She was previously a Conservative councillor but became Independent in 2002.