A former councillor who served the people of the borough for more than 30 years has been made an honorary alderman.

Richard Romain, who stepped down as a councillor at Mays local elections, was given the honour at a meeting of Harrow Borough Council last night.

As an honorary alderman, Mr Romain will receive invitations to all civic and social events and represent the Mayor of Harrow and the borough at public functions.

Councillor Richard Romain was first elected in May 1982 to represent Stanmore South, and four years later was re-elected as councillor for Cannons ward, which he represented for 28 years.

At last night’s meeting, Conservative group leader Cllr Susan Hall said: “When Richard speaks in the chamber people put down their phones, stop reading council papers and listen.

“He has always said he likes to play devil’s advocate, but I would say sometimes likes being awkward.

“But I think it is very important to have someone who can show you the other side of an argument.”

Council leader Cllr David Perry said: “One thing I would like to say is you have always shown leadership in this council.

“No matter people’s political colour, when you get up to speak, they will listen to you and they have a great respect for you. You are a true gentlemen and congratulations.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Noyce said: “I think it is fair to say Richard gives politics a good name. You may not always agree with him but you respect him.”

Conservative councillor Marilyn Ashton said: “Richard is one of the finest speakers we have had in this chamber. We will miss having such an eloquent member.

Alderman Romain said: “I will do all I can to represent this council and the good work it does. This authority does so much good work which people do not get to hear about.

“It is a privilege to serve as an alderman and to represent the people of this borough. I am humbled by the honour you have bestowed on me.

“Thank you for this honour and I will do my bed to serve you and I will not let you down.”