Councillor saluted in Town Hall ‘ambush’

Published on: Wednesday, 3rd January 2024
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Councillor Atkinson receives a scouting award.

A young councillor attending a town hall meeting was summoned from his seat to solemnly stand and face colleagues – unaware family and friends were hiding outside the chamber to “ambush” him with two top awards.

24-year old Harry Atkinson was stunned as his fans suddenly flocked in at the invitation of Erewash Mayor Councillor Frank Phillips, who was presiding at the start of proceedings.

The delegation of around a dozen included members of Long Eaton Scouts and Sawley Explorer Scouts – which Harry has devoted his spare time to as a youth commissioner.

He was presented with the movement’s highest honour – the King’s Scout Award – as family including his parents and grandparents looked on proudly. It was handed to him by District Commissioner Catherine Halls-Jukes and is the first such badge won locally since the coronation of King Charles.

Harry also received a coveted Scout of the World Award for helping to raise £27,000 for the local troop to install solar panels.

The Long Eaton Scouts will combine with Ilkeston’s in the New Year to form a new Erewash Scouts. Councillors applauded at Ilkeston Town Hall as the Mayor declared of Harry: “It is a credit to him that so much has been achieved.”

Harry represents Sawley as one of the youngest councillors in Erewash. Mayor Cllr Phillips said after the full meeting of the council: “We kept the presentation a secret and he had no idea what was about to happen.”

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