Two new honorary aldermen celebrated following decades of service

Two former councillors with decades of service to the people of Sandwell have become honorary aldermen

. Dr Ann Gieszczykiewicz-Jaron and Elaine Costigan received their badges of office during a ceremony at Sandwell Council House, Oldbury. The ceremony was attended by councillors, family members and other invited guests. Aldermen Jaron and Alderman Costigan are entitled to privileges such as using the courtesy title of ‘Honorary Alderman’ and to receive invitations to all civic events to which members of the council are invited.

They are also allowed to wear the honorary alderman badge of office at all civic occasions. Alderman Jaron, in addition to working as a GP, has been involved in local politics since 1996, representing Abbey ward as a councillor for 25 years before stepping down in 2021. She served on numerous boards and committees during that time, including 10 years as Chair of Planning and two years in the council’s Cabinet. She was elected Mayor of Sandwell in 2019, serving a historic two terms due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Of her investiture, Alderman Jaron, said: “I would like to thank all the officers, members and others who have worked with me over my years in office.

I believe that Sandwell is a great place to live and is in a better place than 1996 when I began my political journey.” Alderman Costigan first became a councillor in 2003, following in her father Alderman Bill Archer’s footsteps, and she represented Wednesbury North ward as a councillor for 20 years. She also served as Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Protection, in addition to being Wednesbury Town Lead for many years. Alderman Costigan said: “I hope I made a real difference to people’s lives, I wanted to be the people’s voice and ‘get things done’. I have so many wonderful memories and have made lifelong friends. This is a great honour for me.”

The Worshipful the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Bill Gavan, added: “I have worked closely with both of these ladies for many years. It is an honour to be able to present their badge of office and certificate of recognition. “I would like to thank both Alderman Jaron and Alderman Costigan for their many years of service.” At the ceremony on Tuesday 20 February, Councillor Bob Piper and Councillor Peter Hughes respectively spoke about Alderman Jaron and Alderman Costigan, celebrating their long public service and dedication to the people of Sandwell.

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