Tony gets freedom of Sidmouth

Former councillor is first-ever person to receive accolade.

A DEDICATED public servant has become the first-ever person to be awarded the freedom of Sidmouth.

Tony Reed was given a standing ovation by ex-colleagues on Monday as he stood down from the town council after 18 years.

“It’s not often I’m lost for words,” said Tony, 74, “I’m deeply honoured.”

He added: “I think this is quite elite. I’m extremely proud to be the first recipient and I’m extremely proud of Sidmouth.”

Outgoing council chairman Peter Sullivan said it was an “enormous pleasure” to name Tony as the first Honorary Freeman of Sidmouth, and praised his hard work over the years.

Tony, a former town council chairman himself, also relinquished his seat on the district council after 16 years.

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He is a former vice chairman of the authority, and an ex-chairman of planning at Knowle, who served on a wide range of sub-committees.

Despite retiring from local politics, Tony, president of Sidmouth Town Band, has vowed to continue his involvement with the highly-regarded group.

“As long as they’ll have me I’ll stay there,” he said. “I take a great deal of pride in our town band.”

Of his time as a councillor, Tony told the Herald last week: “I’ve always had Sidmouth at heart.

“I feel I have left things a little better than I found them, and it’s now time to move on.”