Lorna Kercher: Stalwart former councillor made honorary alderman
PUBLISHED: 12:17 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:17 14 September 2018
A stalwart former councillor who represented Letchworth and Hitchin wards for 30 years has been made an honorary alderman of North Hertfordshire.
North Herts District Council has conferred the rare honour on former district council chairman Lorna Kercher – who retired in April at the age of 78.
Councillors from all parties voted unanimously in favour of the honour for Mrs Kercher, who represented Labour.
Councillor Lynda Needham, who leads the Conservative-run district council, said she and her colleagues were very pleased to salute Mrs Kercher in this way.
“Many warm tributes and anecdotes were voiced about Lorna and her service at the council by all political parties, which was followed by a unanimous vote,” said Mrs Needham.
“Historically the district council has created very few aldermen during its 45-year existence which makes it a special honour that was conferred upon Lorna Kercher.
“The Conservative group were very happy to put forward ex-councillor Mrs Kercher to become an alderman, and were delighted that all councillors present wished to thank her in this way for her long service.”
As well as being a district and county councillor, Mrs Kercher was a mainstay for causes like Letchworth’s Howard Garden Social & Day Care Centre.
Despite their different politics, Mrs Needham and Mrs Kercher became great friends and enjoyed serving together on the board of the town’s Heritage Foundation.
Mrs Kercher also had a warm friendship with the district council’s deputy leader Julian Cunningham, who earlier this year said she had been “a superb councillor as she self-evidently cares about people”.
Speaking to the Comet this week, Mrs Kercher said she was very grateful to the district council’s Conservative group for nominating her.
She added that although she had now moved to the Midlands, her residence in Letchworth for half a century meant that “North Hertfordshire and Letchworth will always be in my heart”.
At the same meeting, former district council chairman Alan Millard presented cheques for £1,550 each to the two charities he supported during his year in the role – Hitchin Helping Hands, which helps older people get out into the community, and learning-disability youth project Snappy G’s.