Two Trafford stalwarts earn high honors from council

TWO stalwarts of communities in Trafford are now honorary aldermen after a special meeting of the council last week.

Whit Stennett MBE and Brian Rigby MBE both received the titles for their service to the borough over several decades.

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To become honorary aldermen, people must make a significant contribution to the council and their communities, and the special meeting on Wednesday last week agreed both Mr Stennett and Mr Rigby met this standard.

Mr Stennett served Old Trafford as a councilor for Clifford Ward for 28 years, and received his MBE for services to the Afro-Caribbean community in 1998.

He was appointed to range of positions such as on council committees and at Trafford Leisure, and also went on to become the first black Mayor of Trafford.

Messenger Newspapers: Whit Stennett and Mayor of Trafford Cllr Laurence Walsh.Whit Stennett and Mayor of Trafford Cllr Laurence Walsh.

The council’s leader Cllr Andrew Western, who nominated Mr Stennett, said: “Whit’s story is an inspirational one. He turned up in Manchester with just a suitcase and £50 but went on to become a pillar of the community.

“His union work and campaigning for racial equality has been second to none and he thoroughly deserves this accolade.”

Mr Rigby served as a councilor for Mersey St Mary Ward, then for Ashton on Mersey Ward, for more than a quarter of a century.

Messenger Newspapers: Mayor of Trafford Cllr Laurence Walsh and Brian Rigby.Major of Trafford Cllr Laurence Walsh and Brian Rigby.

The chair of governors at Ashton on Mersey School for 28 years and the initiator of a partnership with Broadoak School which later led on to the creation of the Dean Trust, his MBE for services to education came in 2006.

As if this were not enough, Mr Rigby was also appointed to positions with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Transport for Greater Manchester.

Cllr Nathan Evans, the leader of the Conservative Group who nominated Mr Rigby, said: “It has been an honor to know Brian over these years. He championed the area he represented with dedication and has been a fantastic servant to the borough.

“But he is best known for his commitment to education and there are literally thousands of pupils and students who have gone on to achieve great things thanks to his leadership and insight.”

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