Sefton Council agreed last night (November 17) that the Freedom of the Borough is to be granted to HMS Mersey.
At a Full Council meeting held at Southport Town Hall, councillors resolved that the prestigious title is bestowed in light of the long and honourable association between Sefton, the Royal Navy and HMS Mersey.
HMS Mersey was affiliated to Sefton by the Royal Navy in May 2004 when the ship was commissioned.
The Captain and Officers of HMS Mersey always make a courtesy visit to Sefton when the ship visits Merseyside. Here they are always pleased and honoured to see the battle ensigns, paintings and other memorabilia displayed in the council chamber associated with Captain Frederick John Walker and other naval ships.
The Mayor of Sefton is always invited to attend a formal dinner on the ship on its courtesy visit.
HMS Mersey is one of four River class patrol vessels. She patrols the waters of the UK and parts of the Atlantic ensuring that fishing boats and trawlers stick to internationally-agreed quotas.
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We have a very strong and proud maritime heritage and we felt it was very fitting to honour HMS Mersey in this fashion.
“This also means that a unit from each of the three Armed Services has been granted the Honorary Freedom of the Borough – something we are very appreciative of.”
An Extra-ordinary Council meeting will be held at Bootle Town Hall in the future to officially grant the Freedom of the Borough and arrangements will be made for the Freedom to be bestowed upon the ship on her next operational visit.