Alcester Court Leet to allow women to join
ALCESTER Court Leet made history earlier this month when it was announced its rule which prevented women from joining is to be overturned.
The move was a victory for campaigners who, after staging a silent demonstration, had continued to question why the organisation could not allow women to become members and officers
Lord of the Manor, Lord Hertford, was asked to consider changing the rules for the Court Leet, which organises many community events in Alcester and fundraises for the town.
And on Monday (8th November) it was announced the men-only rule for the 800-year-old Court Leet will be abolished at the next annual court, which takes place in October 2022.
A statement for Alcester Court Leet said: “In line with other longstanding institutions and in particular the 32 courts named in in the 1977 Act the Lord of the Manor of Alcester Court Leet, the Marquess of Hertford reviewed the court’s functions and membership to ensure they remained relevant, particularly with regard to societal changes.
“He has now completed that review and decided that the functions of the Court Leet in serving the community of Alcester will best be promoted by electing jurors to the court irrespective of gender and thereby eligible for election as officers.
“Lord Hertford welcomes this change and hopes that his court will continue to serve Alcester as it has done over past centuries.”
Those who campaigned for change issued a statement to the Herald, saying: “We’re absolutely thrilled and grateful to everyone involved in this decision.
“It's in keeping with the spirit of the town, which has shown such strength of character, generosity and inclusivity in recent times.
“We’re proud of what our Court Leet does for our town and this latest change will allow for important female representation. It will also help the sustainability of the court for many years to come by significantly increasing the number of people eligible to be officers and allowing opportunities for the children of Alcester to learn more about the inclusive court and support its work.”
As well as staging a protest in October, campaigners had collected 1,000 signatures on a petition calling for change.
Following the announcement, more than 30 comments were posted on the Alcester Court Leet social media page welcoming the change.
One said: “Excellent news. Well-done to the Court Leet and Lord of the Manor. This will make the Court Leet stronger.”
Another added: “Fantastic news for Alcester. Great to see this matter has been resolved and the court can now move forward. It is good for our town to be seen as being up-to-date and inclusive.”