Veteran local councillor receives honorary degree
25 July 2023
A local Reading councillor who has dedicated the last 50 years to public service has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Reading.
Councillor Tony Page, who has served on Reading Council as a Labour councillor since 1973 and is now the Mayor of Reading, was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at a ceremony on Thursday 20 July.
Councillor Page graduated from the University of Reading with a BA in Politics in 1975. While still a student, he was elected as the youngest ever councillor in Reading – a record he retains to this day.
Developing better public transport for the people of Reading has been a major part of Councillor Page’s career. He was instrumental in establishing Readibus, the UK’s first dial-a-ride community transport service in the 1970s, which still serves the town today. He was Chair of Reading Buses from 1986 to 2005, and Chair of Reading’s Transportation Committee from 1986-1990. From July 2013 to May 2023, he was Chair of the Berkshire Local Transport Board, which was responsible for determining the priorities for transport investment across Berkshire. He has also held numerous other roles focused on improving public transport for the community.
From May 2008 to May 2023, Councillor Page served as Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport. His work on environmental issues has seen an impressive reduction in Reading’s carbon footprint and he has been heavily involved in the town’s work to achieve its ambition to reach net-zero.
Councillor Page was elected Mayor of Reading in May 2023.
Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “Councillor Tony Page has delivered exceptional public service to the town of Reading over the last 50 years.
“His many contributions to the town align closely with two of the pillars of our own University strategy: Community and Sustainability. He has played a key role in a number of projects that have sought to reinvigorate the town of Reading to make it a better place for people to live, and his efforts to improve public transport and reduce the town’s carbon footprint have been extremely successful.
“We are proud to award this honorary degree to Councillor Tony Page, a former University of Reading student and now Mayor of Reading.”
Reading Mayor Councillor Tony Page said: “I am deeply touched to have been honoured by the University from which I graduated in 1975. The University plays an increasingly important role in the town and I look forward to working closely with them in further promoting our partnership working particularly around the climate change agenda.”