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Freedom of the Borough for active Alison

The first Freedom of the Borough honour to be issued since 2006 has been extended to a woman who has actively involved herself in the community since arriving here in 1979.

By her own admission Alison Fairman cannot sit on her hands - she needs to get them dirty!

The grit under her nails recently has come from her work with the Boston In Bloom campaign, of which she is chairman. Boston has gained a top gold award under her chairmanship.

But her nomination accepted by the council on Monday night took into account the many and numerous active roles she has undertaken in the past 36 years.

The official wording recognises "the significant contribution she has made to numerous organisations in the Borough area".

She was a founder member of the campaign to establish Boston Citizens' Advice Bureau. From 1984 she was a volunteer, becoming deputy manager in the late 1990s and their regular spokesperson to local and national media on treatment of migrant workers and advisor to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

She was part of a three-year campaign from 1983 to save the Maud Foster Windmill from dereliction and unsympathetic redevelopment. It is now one of the prides of Boston, a visitor attraction and the tallest commercial working mill in England.

Since 1984 she has been a trustee of Boston Preservation Trust and a member of the History of Boston Project since 1985.

In 1988 she became a governor at Boston High School, and Chairman of Governors in 1995 .

Since 1990 she has been chairman of the Friends of St Botolph's.

From 1996 to 2016 she was a board member and chairman of Boston Area Partnership - superseded by the Boston Visitor Economy Partnership, of which she is a member.

From 1996 to 2010 she was member and chairman of Boston Heritage Trust .

She has been a member of the East Lincolnshire committee of Lincoln Cathedral Fabric Fund since 1999 and a committee member of the St John Ambulance Priory Group from 2000 to 2015.

In 2004 she was a member of the Tension Monitoring GroupÔÇ»and a part of the Good Relations team.

From 2010 to 2013 she was a

member and chairman of East Lindsey Standards Committee - and remains a reference point for the new Standards Board since system and structure changed.

Since 2010 she has acted as an independent person to Boston Borough Council for the purposes of the Localism Act and the Member Code of Conduct, trustee of Boston Citizens' Advice Bureau since 2011, chairman of Boston in Bloom since 2013 and chairman of Boston Hanse since 2012.

In 2012 she was a member of the Portas funding application bid and in 2013 undertook door-to-door assessment in flood-hit areas of Boston.

She has been chairman of Fydell House Management Committee since 2014.

She will receive her Honorary Freedom of the Borough at a special meeting of the council.

Alison said: "I am overwhelmed by this honour. I came here with my family in 1979, choosing to live in Boston because of the new hospital and my husband's job, the good schools and the cheap housing.

"The wonderful history and countryside in Lincolnshire appealed to us, having lived all over England and a spell in America. We knew this would be home.

"I have done what I can to enhance the reputation of this lovely town. I cannot sit on my hands when something needs doing. I am not an armchair critic. I get my hands dirty with Boston in Bloom and work with the other volunteers to help make Boston a better place. And the town looks great.

"We have joined the new Hanseatic League and hope to bring new businesses and tourism to Boston. I can't just sit there, I want to get the best for our town.

"I spent my working life at Boston Citizens' Advice Bureau, so I known the problems the folk of Boston and the rural areas have. I know only too well the effect the economic cuts have had on small towns like ours.

"But this remains a wonderful place to live and bring up a family. Three of my four children have returned because, like me, they believe in this town.

"Negativity breeds negativity; let's be positive and go forward."