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Freedom of the Borough honour announced

Dr Philip Whitbourn OBE PhD, FSA, FRIBA, FRTPI is to receive the honour of the Freedom of the Borough from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

In December 2022 Full Council received an application to present the award to Dr Whitbourn a resident of Royal Tunbridge Wells. The application came from John Forster, a member of Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society and was seconded by Greg Clark MP and Ptolemy Dean, Architect.

At the Full Council meeting on 1 March members were advised that Dr Whitbourn had accepted the honour.

Dr Whitbourn, 90, has lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells since 1958 and is a well-known figure in many of the town’s societies. He was a founding member of both the Town Forum and the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society serving three terms as the society’s Chairman and as President from 1995 to 2007. The application presented to the Council lists Dr Whitbourn’s involvement in local architectural issues and planning matters, including his work in preserving Trinity Theatre.

In his statement seconding the application Greg Clark said: ‘Philip Whitbourn has played an irreplaceable role in shaping Tunbridge Wells as the attractive, historically rich and culturally vibrant place it is today.

Over many years Philip has brought his deep professional expertise in architecture, town planning and history to the service of his own community – and always in a voluntary and energetic way.’

A ceremony to present Dr Whitbourn with the Freedom of the Borough will take place on Wednesday 19 April in the town hall.

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