Longest-serving councillor awarded Freedom of Stroud

Longest-serving councillor awarded Freedom of Stroud

John Marjoram, the UK’s longest serving Green councillor, has been awarded the Freedom of Stroud and made an Honorary Freeman in recognition of his services to the community.

John addresses police station demo

In 1985 Councilor Marjoram was one of the first Green Party councilors to be elected in the UK and in 1990 became a founder member of Stroud Town Council. He served for 36 years at town and district level, including 10 years as mayor – again a first in the UK. He served continuously in Trinity Ward until 2021 when he retired from active politics at the age of 82.

Current Stroud Mayor Stella Parkes said: “Over the last three decades John’s dedication and perseverance in community affairs has been truly remarkable. He has been instrumental in such major campaigns and improvements to the town. He remains so passionate about this town which he called his home.”

Born in 1939, Councilor Marojoram moved to Stroud in 1968 due to an interest in the work of the Quakers, having been a pacifist since a teenager. Throughout his life, pacifism and the opposition to nuclear weapons were at the core of his work.

John and Andy Read at Stroud Town Council 20th Anniversary

In the 1970s, Councilor Marjoram was a founding member of the Stroud Campaign Against the Ringroad (also known as SCAR 1974-1978) and also prevented many other unsightly developments from happening in the town and surrounding area. He was instrumental in preventing the demolition of the Hill Paul building, saving Uplands Post Office and the city council’s purchase of Lansdown Hall.

While studying for his diploma in youth and social work in 1972, John read a book called ‘The Limits to Growth’. When he realized how quickly the resources of the planet were being consumed, he was inspired to join the new People Party, which later became the Ecology Party, and finally the Green Party.

The Councilor was also the instigator of ‘The Mayor’s Bench’ which gave everyone easy and informal access to councillors.

This is the first time that the Village Council has awarded the title of Honorary Man and the award took place during a small reception at the Village Council offices.

Cllr Marjoram wrote a few words to be read during the presentation: “I am very touched to receive this honor and would like to thank you for the support you have given me over these many long years.

“Politics was my life and I am proud of the work I was able to do for the people of Stroud, which is very close to my heart.”

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