Eytle, James Leslie Hicks or Les

News release from LBL:

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Former Civic Mayor becomes a Freeman of the Borough
Les Eytle and Steve Bullock

Les Eytle, former Civic Mayor of Lewisham and a ward councillor for 24 years, has been admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Lewisham.

At a special meeting of the Council on 8 June, Les became only the ninth person to receive the Freedom since the London Borough of Lewisham was formed in 1965.

Les was nominated in recognition of his long service at Lewisham and the impact he has made on the lives of the people in the borough, especially in regard to his ground-breaking work on equalities issues in the early 1980s.

As ward councillor, Les represented 6 different wards and served as Civic Mayor twice. In his last four years as a member, Les held the position of Chair of the Council until his retirement in 2006.

Les was also very active in the community. He helped to establish the Calabash Day Centre for elderly African-Caribbean residents of the borough. He also served on the management committee of St Mauritius House, a housing association which works closely with Lewisham Council to provide sheltered accommodation for elderly ethnic minorities.

Les was also a founder member of the Millwall Community Scheme, a social inclusion programme which works to stamp out racism in football.

In presenting Les with the Freedom, Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock said: “I can think of no better person to whom this accolade should be presented.

“Les is a wonderful ambassador for Lewisham Council and as a councillor served his constituents incredibly well over 24 years of local government service.”

In becoming an Honorary Freeman of the Borough, Les joins a distinguished list of past Lewisham Freemen including Archbishop Dr Desmond Tutu, Terry Waite OBE, Dame Cicely Saunders and Sybil Phoenix MBE.

Date published 11 June 2007

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