KCC elects new Honorary Aldermen

Two former long-serving Kent County Councillors (KCC) have been elected Honorary Aldermen.

Between them, former KCC Chairman and Mayor of Maidstone Paulina Stockell, and George Koowaree, twice former Mayor of Ashford, gave nearly four decades of public service with KCC.

left-right: KCC Chairman Lesley Game, Mr Koowaree, Mrs Stockell, KCC Vice-Chairman Gary Cooke

Their distinguished record was recognised at the full County Council meeting on Thursday (10 March 2022) when their nominations to receive the title each secured the required two-thirds majority vote.

The award of Honorary Alderman is reserved for former Members who have served at least 12 years with KCC and made eminent, notable, contributions to both the activities of the authority and to the wellbeing of Kent.

Speaking at full Council, where the pair we presented with special scrolls by KCC Chairman Lesley Game, Kent County Council Leader Roger Gough said: “I am delighted to support both these nominations for honorary aldermen.

“Today gives us a great opportunity to celebrate all of their achievements and their huge contributions to this authority.

“Paulina always brought enormous sense, compassion, warmth and understanding to her role, both as a County Councillor and as a former, much loved and respected Chairman.”

County Councillor Trudy Dean MBE, former Leader of KCC’s Liberal Democrats Group, said: “I am delighted to support this nomination for George. He served this council for 16 years and, in tandem, was a councillor for Ashford Borough Council, where he served as Mayor Emeritus.

“He is simply a hugely irrepressible and joyous person to be with. I am so pleased to see him honoured in this way.”

Mrs Stockell was first elected to the County Council in May 2001 as the Conservative Member for Maidstone Rural West.

A secondary school teacher, she served as a Maidstone Borough Councillor from 1990 to 2019 and was the Mayor of Maidstone from 2001 to 2002.

Mrs Stockell also served as Chairman of the County Council in 2011 and was Deputy Cabinet Member for Strategic Commissioning and Public Health.

During her 20 years at Kent County Council, she served on the Education Cabinet Committee, Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee, Kent Flood Risk Management Committee, Policy and Resources Cabinet Committee, Scrutiny Committee, Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee, Personnel Committee, Planning Applications Committee and County Council.

Mr Koowaree was elected to the County Council in April 2004 as the Liberal Democrat Member for Ashford East.

Leader Roger Gough was among those who paid tribute to KCC’s new Honorary Aldermen

A former agency nurse and a member of the Royal College of Nursing, he served as an Ashford Borough Councillor from 1987 to 2011 and was Mayor of Ashford from 1996 to 1997 and 2016 to 2017.

During his 17 years at Kent County Council, he served on the Adult Social Care and Public Health Cabinet Committee, Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee, Regulation Committee, Mental Health Guardianship Sub-Committee and County Council.

George Koowaree said: “I came to England from Mauritius in 1957, my father paid my fare and sent me to make my fortune.

“I didn’t make my fortune, but I was fortunate enough to end up here as a County Councillor. That was the best thing I ever did and to be sitting in this Chamber today receiving this honour has given me enormous pride. Thank you.”

Paulina Stockell said: “I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you here today for this tremendous honour. I spent many, many good years here and I miss you all very much.

“Thank you, Chairman, and thank you all for inviting me here today. It is absolutely lovely to be back.”

In addition to attending the Annual Meeting of the Council and the Chairman’s Civic Reception, the names of those awarded the status of Honorary Alderman are also included on the wooden honours board in the Council Chamber at County Hall.

KCC elects new Honorary Aldermen was last modified: March 11th, 2022 by Scarlett Elworthy