THREE long-term members of Southend Council are set to be handed the title of Honorary Alderman.

Howard Briggs, Charles Latham and Graham Longley have been put forward for the honour after the trio served more than 15 years as a councillor.

The announcement will take place on April 19 - under Section 249(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 - before the usual council meeting gets underway.

And Ann Holland, the deputy leader of the council, believes they are deserving of the accolade.

“It is definitely the least they deserve,” she said.

“All three of them were the leader of their parties and also leader of the council.

“They have all had such distinguished careers and put a lot into the town.

“A lot of what they have done has gone unnoticed by members of the public, but they have done a lot and deserve a lot of credit for their work.

“They have all been on the council for at least 15 years, because that is the minimum amount of time you can be on the council for before being put forward to be an Honorary Alderman, and they’ve done so much.”

The council have been recommended, as a small token of appreciation, to give the Honorary Aldermen a permit which enables them to park in any of the council’s car parks for free.

And Paul Thompson, the chairman of the Southend Seafront Traders Association, believes the reward would be the least they deserve after lengthy stints on the council.

He said: “I think that free parking in any of the council’s car parks would be a nice tribute to them.

“All three of them have worked very hard as servants for the council. It’s a nice way to reward them and rightly so.

“I definitely think that it’s the least they deserve.

“Well done to all three of them, I say.”