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Three local heroes to be given freedom of Craven
A former councillor and two of the area’s Olympians are to be granted the freedom of Craven district.
Beth Graham, from Settle, is to be made an Honorary Alderwoman, while rower Andrew Triggs Hodge, from Hebden, and archer Danielle Brown, from Lothersdale, are to be made a freeman and freewoman of the district.
The title of Honorary Alderwoman (or man) can be bestowed on special former members of the council with at least 15 years continuous service. They will either have been “persons of distinction” or who, in the opinion of the council, have rendered eminent services to Craven.
Former councillor Beth Graham was a Liberal Democrat member of both Craven District Council and North Yorkshire County Council until she retired in around 2004. She remained a member of Settle Town Council until 2010.
At last week’s policy committee meeting, councillors heard that several local authorities had awarded freedom of the district to prominent sports people in their own areas, such as Jessica Ennis in Sheffield, Mo Farrah in Hounslow, London, and Bradley Wiggins in Chorley. Fellow cyclist Steve Burke also received the freedom of Pendle.
Mr Hodge moved to Hebden in 1980 and went to Burnsall Primary School before moving on to Upper Wharfedale School and South Craven School. He took up rowing while studying at Staffordshire University and went on to win eight medals at world and Olympic level.
He has regularly supported a number of community- based events in Craven, including school visits.
Danielle Brown, who competes in the compound bow category, was born in Lothersdale and went to the village primary school before attending South Craven School. She earned a first class law degree at Leicester University. Miss Brown, who has reflex sympathetic dystrophy in her feet and competes sitting down or leaning on a stool, has won six world or Olympic medals and three world team titles. Two years ago, she became the first Paralympian to cross over and win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in an able-bodied event.
The awards are due to be made at the annual meeting of Craven District Council on May 14.