COUNCILLORS who each represented their communities for decades will be recognised for their service at the town hall tonight.

A total of three councillors will be given the title of Honorary Aldermen of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton.

John Byrne, Norman Critchley and Guy Harkin, who completed 92 years of service between them, will be conferred with the title in the council chambers at a meeting tonight.

Former Conservative councillor Mr Critchley served as a representative of Bromley Cross for 31 years.

He said: “It’s absolutely marvellous. I’ve tried to do my very best. To be made an honorary alderman is a wonderful gesture to me to say thank you. I’m very proud of Bolton. I really love the town.”

Mr Critchley told The Bolton News about his proudest achievements during his three continuous decades at the council.

He is particularly proud of the council introducing 20-mile-per-hour zones, pushing for a brownfield first policy in planning and achieving a strategic review of all the local authority’s housing stock.

Guy Harkin, aged 64, was first elected as a councillor for Daubhill in 1980 before he worked as a project director at the strategic health authority.

He was then elected as a councillor for Crompton in 2009, which he represented for 10 years.

The Labour councillor, who stood down at the May elections earlier this year, described the title as a great honour.

He said: “I’m very pleased that they have made me the offer. All I’ve ever done is try to do the best for the people who live in my town all my life. I have just tried to do my very best for 34 years to serve people amongst who I’ve always lived.”

However, Mr Harkin had some words of warning for the current cohort of councillors.

He said: “The people who are in charge now have a real task on their hands. Local government has had such a beating. I feel quite pessimistic.

“We had the best years in terms of being able to solve people’s problems out. The money just isn’t there now. I feel for them. Good luck to them.

“They are 60 committed people who will do the very best for the town but they simply don’t have the resource to see the results.”

Former executive cabinet member for sport and culture Mr Byrne lost his seat in Breightmet in the local election in May.

The Labour councillor represented the ward for 27 years and served as mayor in 2010. His wife, Cllr Lynda Byrne also represented Breightmet and became Bolton's first honorary alderwoman last year.

Long-standing colleague Cllr Nick Peel said Mr Byrne's legacy will be his contribution to bringing visitors to Bolton.

"For many, many years, he was the public face of the council's events and tourism programme. John led the portfolio with the food and drink festival, the Ironman and the museum refurbishment – the Egyptology exhibition. John has always been there helping to promote it."