Rules to allow women in Court Leet clarified

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 07 November 2012 Updated: 07/11 13:27

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WOMEN will be able to join Bromsgrove's historic Court Leet in the future after members debated the issue at a meeting last Thursday (November 1).

The new Bailiff, Roy Thomason, told The Standard it was more of a clarification of the rules, rather than changing them.

And he added because, to date, no women had been nominated, the issue had not really been considered and the Court Leet was just thought of as a men only organisation.

"It has always been that we would look favourably on any nominations of women to join," he said.

The Court Leet has 60 members overall and 12 in the Inner Court.

Any member can suggest a name that will be considered by the Inner Court. They will then make a recommendation to the full Court Leet. The next full Court Leet meeting is in the spring.

Mr Thomason, who was Bromsgrove MP from 1992 to 1997 and has been awarded an OBE, was born in Birmingham and was a solicitor.

He is now the head of his family-run property company and lives in Dodford.

He and his wife Christine, who have four grown-up children, are both active members of the community.

Before moving to Bromsgrove, Mr Thomason held various roles, including leader of Bournemouth Council.

He will hold his new post for a year after being officially given the role at the Autumn Court last Thursday (November 1). Prior to that, he had served as the Court Leet's Reeve for a year.

Speaking to The Standard, Mr Thomason said he was looking forward to his new role and added he had chosen four local charities to support during his year as Bailiff - the Primrose Hospice, Avoncroft Museum, St John's Church and Dodford Holiday Farm.

On previous Bailiff Martin Connellan, he said: "He did a tremendous job - we all thanked him at the meeting and we wished him well."

Bromsgrove Court Leet is more than 800 years old and dates back to the time of King John.

Mr Thomason said he was proud to be associated with the organisation and its history.

And he added: "I hope to help raise the court's profile in the community and emphasise its great importance in the history of the town and surrounding area."

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