The award of Honorary Freeman is one of the most prestigious awards which a council can bestow upon a valued member of the community.

Although the title of ‘freeman’ confers no special privileges it is without a doubt an honour to receive such an award and is a great and lasting tribute to a person held in high regard.

Polegate Town Council is delighted to have made the award of Honorary Freeman of Polegate to Stephen Shing on behalf of the Town Council by the Town Mayor Cllr Dan Dunbar on 30th October 2023. Over 100 people attended the awards presentation on 8th November including the Deputy Lieutenant Professor Nick Webborn CBE and High Sheriff Mr Richard Bickersteth, at which many personal and notable commendations were made to Cllr Stephen Shing for his tireless work within the community.

The award was made to Cllr Mr Stephen Shing as the council considered that he had served his community for many years in many ways, from officially serving as a councillor to informally helping his community.

Mr Shing first joined the Town Council in 2007 and has served ever since when he was first elected as Town Councillor in May 2007.

Mr Shing was thanked by the Town Mayor on behalf of the Town Council and the community at large for the highly valued and significant contribution made to the town of Polegate and was presented with a citation and jewel in recognition of the award. He is only the second person to have received such an award in Polegate.

Cllr Dan Dunbar, Mayor of Polegate said “I was delighted to have been able to honour Stephen with his award on behalf of the Town Council. Stephen works tirelessly for our community often behind the scenes and I’m proud our council has been able to bestow this honour to him”. Cllr Dunbar added “Stephen was instrumental in myself joining local government and I shall be ever grateful for his support and guidance”.

Cllr Stephen Shing said “Words cannot express my gratitude and pride in receiving the Honorary Freeman award from Polegate Town Council. I am grateful to the encouragement I received from all of the helpers and supporters with their unwavering dedication over the years have meant I am never alone on my long journey.  I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in my journey, including those who are no longer with us, whom I will always remember.”