Trafford stalwarts receive Honorary Alderman title


Two community stalwarts have been given the title of Honorary Alderman at an extraordinary meeting of Trafford Council.

Whit Stennett MBE and Brian Rigby MBE both received their title for the sterling service they have provided the Council and the borough over the years.
Honorary Alderman must have made a significant contribution to the Council and the people they represent and the Council agreed that Whit and Brian both fitted the bill.

Council leader Cllr Andrew Western nominated Whit for the title after he served the Old Trafford community as a Clifford Ward representative for 28 years.Whit also received an MBE – in 1998 for his services to the Afro-Caribbean community, in particular his youth and community work.

In 2003, he became the first black Mayor of Trafford and has been a strong voice for his community throughout his time on the Council.

Whit’s community work has been recognised nationally with lifetime achievements awards, while he has served on a number of internal committees in his time on the Council as well as being appointed to a range of outside bodies such as Trafford Leisure.

Cllr Western 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.”

Brian, who represented Mersey St Mary and Ashton-Upon-Mersey wards for 27 years, was nominated by Trafford Conservatives Leader Cllr Nathan Evans.

Cllr Evans said:

“It has been an honour 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.”

Brian, who also received an MBE in 2006 for services to education, chaired the Employment Committee for several years.He was chair of governors at Ashton on Mersey High School for 28 years and in 2005, on his initiative, a partnership was formed with Broadoak School in Partington.

The partnership was so successful that the partnership has expanded and become a multi school academy trust, now known as the Dean Trust.

Beyond Trafford, Brian also served on Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority.

Posted on Thursday 24th March 2022