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.”

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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.”

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