Chris Frost, Eber Kington and late Clive Smitheram

Civic awards at civic reception


The Epsom and Ewell Mayor’s civic reception took place at Bourne Hall, Ewell on Friday 8th March. The “great and the good” of the Borough, including Member of Parliament Chris Grayling, gathered at this special annual event that witnessed the conferment of the title of Alderman of Epsom and Ewell to three long-serving local councillors.

The ceremonies began with the Mayor’s Active Citizen Award. The Mayor, Cllr Rob Geleit (Labour Court Ward), presented this year’s award to Barbara Lewis, praising her selfless dedication to the community: “Barbara, born in Kingston, was instilled with a strong sense of altruism by her late mother. After attending Tiffin Girls Grammar School and serving in the civil service, Barbara settled in Ewell with her husband Martin, celebrating their upcoming Golden Wedding Anniversary. Barbara’s commitment to her local area, Station Avenue, has been unwavering. Notably, she spearheaded efforts to provide scrubs, masks, and other essentials to frontline workers during the pandemic, and organized a heartwarming visit from Santa for children in her neighborhood. Barbara’s involvement extends to various charitable endeavors, including Epsom Twinning Society and Epsom Rotary Club, and she even finds time to teach a Spanish class for the University of Third Age (U3A). Additionally, Barbara has dedicated herself to fundraising, notably supporting the Mayor’s Charity Committee. Her generosity knows no bounds, always willing to help and support her community.”

Cllr Hannah Dalton (RA Stoneleigh), spoke up for Chris Frost, and welcomed him as an Honorary Alderman of Epsom and Ewell, recognizing his positive impact on local politics: “Chris’s journey in politics began in his youth, and his dedication led to his election to the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and later the Surrey County Council. Known for his community spirit, Chris spearheaded initiatives like the Interfaith Forum and the Epsom and Ewell Community Fund.”

Ms Dalton commended Chris’s wife, Cllr Liz Frost (RA Woodcote and Langley), for her unwavering support and thanked his family for their presence. She expressed gratitude to all who supported Chris over the years, including council officers.

Eber Kington signs the book with Mayor and EEBC CEO Jackie King looking on.

Cllr Peter O’Donovan (RA Ewell Court) reflected on Eber Kington‘s remarkable career, celebrating his induction as an Honorary Alderman: “Born in Battersea, Eber’s journey into local politics began in the 80s when he joined the Woodcote Residents’ Association, eventually becoming a respected councillor. Eber’s tenure was marked by his commitment to his constituents, often being the first point of contact for residents’ concerns. Despite his aversion to planning matters, Eber’s dedication to his community was unwavering. His tenure as Mayor in 1999 was memorable, highlighted by his unconventional but effective leadership style. Eber’s dedication to community service extends beyond politics, evident in his charity work and love for Chelsea Football Club.” Mr O’Donovan praised Eber’s integrity, noting his willingness to listen and support fellow councillors.

Finally, Cllr Jan Mason (RA Ruxley) spoke emotionally in praise of the late Mr Clive Smitheram who was awarded the Honour of Alderman of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell posthumously. Clive was a central figure in West Ewell having lived there for over 30 years with his wife Gill and family and although a proud Cornishman, Clive was someone who knew everyone locally and if he didn’t know someone, he knew someone who did! Clive was a former police officer, having served 31 years in the service and was a retired community safety officer. As an active resident, it led to Clive being elected as a Resident Association Councillor for West Ewell serving for over 20 years, Clive was a former Mayor of Epsom and Ewell in 2010- 2011.

Mrs Smitheram receives the honour on behalf of the late Clive Smitheram.

All photos below heading courtesy Steven McCormick Photography

Related reports:

Long serving Councillor Clive Smitheram dies at 76

Alderman awards for Epsom and Ewell trio

Local Council stalwarts up for local honour

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