Scarborough Council has been urged to reconsider granting footballer Beth Mead the Freedom of the Borough of Scarborough. 

Cllr Heather Philips has called on the council to reconsider granting the Freedom of the Borough to Whitby-born England footballer Beth Mead.

Cllr Phillips said that the authority should recognise her contributions and give her “more than a tea party”.

The footballer was nominated for the civic award in August 2022 after the England women’s team won the UEFA 2022 Women’s Euros. 

However, Mead did not receive the prize at the time and councillors have said it would be fitting to give her the award before Scarborough Council ceases to exist on April 1 as part of a major shake-up of local government in North Yorkshire. 

Speaking at a full meeting of the council on Monday, January 16, Cllr Phillips said: “We have a young lady who has represented our borough in the most fantastic way as a footballer. 

“It goes against the normal gender views on this, but she has represented her country in the most magnificent way and her country has seen to honour her for that service.”

Ms Phillips, a Conservative councillor for the Derwent Valley and Moor ward, stated: “If she gets an MBE from central government and the King, then surely we can offer her more than a tea party.”

Speaking to the mayor, she added: “I know it would be with yourself and it would be a lovely tea party, but she needs a little bit more recognition. Can we please put it back to the governance committee?” 

Responding to Cllr Phillips, the mayor, Cllr Eric Broadbent said: “I totally agree, a fantastic thing for the nation and the football match was unbelievable.”

Leader of the Labour-led administration, Cllr Steve Siddons said: “I don’t disagree with the comments that Cllr Phillips has made. 

“However, as I understand it, no actual nominations have been made for this and that is within the remit of the governance group.”

Speaking at the meeting, council director Lisa Dixon said that it would be possible to reconsider the nomination. 

Ms Dixon stated: “I’m quite happy to reconvene a meeting of the relevant group to reconsider that if that is what members wish.” 

At the same meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of awarding the title of Honorary Alderman and Alderwoman to 12 current and former borough councillors.

The award can be given to councillors who have served  a minimum of 16 years on the authority and have made a “significant contribution” to the borough.