Top honour presented to long-serving Gosport councillor

HE SPENT most of his working life serving the residents of Gosport '“ keeping their best interests at the forefront of council politics.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 4:14 pm
Former Gosport councillor Dennis Wright after being made an honorary freeman. Picture: David George

Now, a long-serving former councillor has been given the town's top honour, being made an honorary freeman of the borough.

Dennis Wright first became a councillor in 1970, building himself a reputation for putting his heart and soul into council debates.

He represented the Labour Party for 33 years until this year, when he chose not to stand in the 2018 local elections.

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At a Gosport Borough Council meeting last night, councillors congratulated Dennis for his long-standing dedication to making the town a better place to live.

Leader of the council Cllr Mark Hook said: '˜Dennis and I have had some great debates, some great memories and some great laughs together.

'˜He has been a magnificent servant to the borough, is a wonderful person and a role model to a lot of people.

'˜But above all else, he is a decent and honest human being.'

Conservative councillor, Cllr Stephen Philpott, said: '˜Dennis was a thorn in my side but I have to say '“ what a public servant he was.'

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Peter Chegwyn, said: '˜It's a very rare offer and I think Dennis fully deserves the role.'

Leader of the Gosport Labour Party, Cllr June Cully, said: '˜I've known Dennis since the early 1970s and we soon became great friends.

'˜He always believed in fairness and justice and was an excellent ambassador for Gosport in his time as mayor.'

Speaking after his unanimous appointment to the position, Dennis Wright said: '˜A lot has changed since I was first elected in the 1970s.

'˜There was no attendance allowance, no leader and the mayor used to provide tea for us.

'˜I had the pleasure of serving in Labour's only majority council in Gosport and attending events as mayor meant I met many some amazing groups and people.

'˜My late wife was a councillor for 17 years '“ she would have been very proud of this ceremony and I wish everyone well for the future.'