TWO former Test Valley borough councillors have been awarded the title of Honorary Alderman to celebrate their outstanding contribution to the local community.

Rod Bailey and Marion Kerley have together accumulated more than 50 years’ service as councillors and both have served as mayor.

Members agreed to award the titles at a special council meeting.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr said: “The time and energy Rod and Marion have committed to their local communities is simply outstanding.

“This is our small way of recognising and celebrating their dedication to public service. They have touched the lives of so many residents in the borough and the legacy of their work will make a difference for decades to come.”

Rod and Marion are the first people in the borough to be awarded the title.

During her acceptance speech Mrs Kerley said: “I am very aware that today, Test Valley Borough Council is making history, and Rob Bailey and I are part of that history making.

“Such mixed emotions when I received the letter informing me of the Council’s decision to confer the title of Alderman upon me.

“I was humbled, proud, honoured and excited.”