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Top honour for Maundy patron Julie

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of awarding the Accrington actress and Maundy Relief charity patron one of Hyndburn’s highest honours.

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Hyndburn council has paid tribute to Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh in approving her nomination for the Freedom of the Borough award.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of awarding the Accrington actress and Maundy Relief charity patron one of Hyndburn’s highest honours.

Councillor Ken Moss, cabinet member for leisure and arts, said they wanted to recognise her achievements.

He said: “This is the highest honour that anyone can be given in the borough.

“Julie captured the nation’s hearts and I’m delighted to nominate her for this award.”

Conservative Councillor Peter Britcliffe said: “I’m very happy to support this nomination.

“I remember the work she did at Maundy Grange, and she just turned up and mucked in, with no airs and graces about her.”

Julie studied at Hyndburn Park Primary School, Moorhead High School and Accrington and Rossendale College.

She found fame as Hayley Cropper on the ITV soap and has has been campaigning to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer after bowing out of the drama earlier this year.

Labour Councillor Harry Grayson said: “A lot of people know Julie through her television work.

“She’s also very well known for the work she has done with the Maundy Relief, and the hospice lottery which has raised over £3 million.

“I’m delighted to see her nominated for the Freeman of the Borough.”

Labour Councillor Joan Smith said: “I’ve known Julie since she was about 12 years old. She grew up in Church ward.

“I’ve followed her career very closely, and unlike many celebrities, she has used her fame for the benefit of others.

“She’s a credit to this borough.”

Julie joins previous winners who include Olympian Ron Hill and former MP Ken Hargreaves.