(1)Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) (honorary aldermen and freemen) is amended as follows.
(2)In the heading, for “Honorary aldermen and freemen” substitute “ Honorary titles ”.
(3)In subsection (1) (power of principal councils to confer title of honorary aldermen), after “honorary aldermen” insert “ or honorary alderwomen ”.
(4)In subsection (2)—
(a)after “honorary alderman” insert “ or honorary alderwoman ”;
(b)after “as alderman” insert “ or alderwoman ”;
(c)after “as an alderman” insert “ or alderwoman ”.
(5)In subsection (4), after “honorary alderman” insert “ or honorary alderwoman ”.
(6)After that subsection insert—
“(4A)A principal council may spend such reasonable sum as they think fit for the purpose of presenting an address, or a casket containing an address, to a person on whom they have conferred the title of honorary alderman or honorary alderwoman.”
(7)For subsections (5) to (9) (honorary freemen) there is substituted—
“(5)Subject as follows, a relevant authority may admit to be honorary freemen or honorary freewomen of the place or area for which it is the authority—
(a)persons of distinction, and
(b)persons who have, in the opinion of the authority, rendered eminent services to that place or area.
(6)In this section “relevant authority” means—
(a)a principal council;
(b)a parish or community council;
(c)charter trustees in England constituted—
(i)under section 246 of the Local Government Act 1972,
(ii)by the Charter Trustees Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/263), or
(iii)under Part 1 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
(7)The power in subsection (5) above is exercisable by resolution of the relevant authority.
(8)A resolution under subsection (7) above must be passed—
(a)at a meeting of the relevant authority which is specially convened for the purpose and where notice of the object of the meeting has been given; and
(b)by not less than two-thirds of the members of the relevant authority (or, in the case of charter trustees, of the trustees) who vote on it.
(9)A relevant authority may spend such reasonable sum as it thinks fit for the purpose of presenting an address or a casket containing an address to a person on whom the authority has conferred the title of honorary freeman or honorary freewoman under subsection (5) above.
(10)The admission of a person as honorary freeman or honorary freewoman does not confer on that person any of the rights referred to in section 248(4) above.”