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Councillors agree to award retired ‘unsung hero’ Freeman of the Borough

Published on Wednesday, 18th January 2023

Dave Leach
Mace-bearer Dave Leach (right) alongside the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth Cllr Jeff Clarke JP (left)

Councillors have agreed that the prestigious Freeman of the Borough award should be given to ex-ceremonial mace-bearer Dave Leach.

Mr Leach retired in October last year following 27 years dedicated service which included several roles at the Council.

His boundless knowledge of Council history ensured that important public ceremonies were carried out with care and precision and his patience and understanding always ensured new Members and Officers felt supported.

In addition to acting as the Council’s ceremonial mace-bearer, Mr Leach also attended hundreds of Council meetings all while working as the Mayor’s officer and Events team member.

Councillors felt that his extraordinary dedication to Council and public service should be officially recognised with the Freeman of the Borough award.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council Leader, Cllr Kris Wilson, said:

“I don’t think people know how integral Dave has been to the civic life of our Borough. Without him events such as Jubilees, the King’s Accession, Remembrance Parades and hundreds of mayoral engagements would not have taken place.

“Over the years many Mayors have supported so many charities across Nuneaton and Bedworth. Dave has always been there to support mayoral events which have raised thousands of pounds for worthwhile causes. His dedication to our towns has been second to none. Mayors may collect the cheques and rattle the tins, but behind them has always been Dave Leach.

“Dave is an unsung hero of our Borough, and I’m so pleased that we will recognise his decades of service to our community.”

Mr Leach felt extremely proud to receive the award, he said:

“This award was totally unexpected. There are no words to express the pride I feel in being awarded the highest honour a Council can bestow on a civilian, but coupled with this is a great humility as I think back to all those I have worked with over the years, officers and citizens, many passed on now, who would have been equally deserving. 

“In my time with the Council I have always tried to do my best for the Officers, Councillors and the for the citizens of this wonderful Borough of ours and if I have made a small difference then I am content. Thank you to all the Councillors who awarded me this great honour.”