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Published on November 15th, 2012 | by admin

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Disgraced Jimmy Savile stripped of prestigious Leeds Award

By David Marsh

It was just four years ago that a proud Jimmy Savile took part in a ceremony in which he was granted the prestigious Leeds Award.

The council had voted on July 2 2008 that the television personality and charity fundraiser should receive the honour, given to people deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the city.

His name was displayed in a section of the council’s civic hall headquarters reserved for Leeds Award recipients.

But yesterday a full meeting of the council – which had always stopped short of making Savile an honorary freeman of Leeds, the highest honour the council can bestow – voted to strip him of his Leeds Award.

It follows allegations that the late television star, who died a year ago, sexually abused young girls. Police fear Leeds-born Savile abused up to 300 young people, with some attacks said to have taken place on BBC and NHS premises.

Councillors agreed a resolution that said: “That council agree, in light of the seriousness of current allegations against Jimmy Savile, to the rescinding of the Leeds Award and any previous recommendations of council that proposed further recognition or commemoration of him.”

In the aftermath of Savile’s death it had been suggested a statue should be erected in the city in his honour.

In a show of political unity behind the decision to remove the award, the resolution was proposed by Coun Keith Wakefield, Labour leader of the council, and seconded by Coun Andrew Carter, the Conservative group leader. There was no debate on the issue.

Scarborough Council recently voted to remove Savile’s name from its Freedom of the Borough honours list. A plaque outside his old home in Scarborough was taken down.

His gravestone has been removed from the town’s Woodland cemetery and there have been calls for his body to be exhumed.

There have also been calls for a Highland cottage owned by Savile to be demolished if it continues to be vandalised.

The words ‘Jimmy the Beast’ have been sprayed on its walls.

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