COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of granting Royal Navy submarine HMS Astute and Wallasey Sea Cadets freedom of the borough during a meeting tonight.

Wirral's cabinet had voted in favour of the recommendation when it met on June 4

it was given full backing during an extraordinary meeting of the council at Wallasey Town Hall tonight.

There was no debate.

it was proposed by cabinet member Adrian Jones in recognition of the close links between the borough, the submarine and the training ship.

It means the crews would be granted the "right, privilege, honour and distinction" of marching through the streets of Wirral on all ceremonial occasions with bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying.

Addressing cabinet before the recommendation was approved last month, Cllr Jones said: "The principle has always been that we do this sort of thing frequently.

"We have offered freedom of the borough to a number of organisations in the past."

Cabinet chair, council leader Phil Davies, described the honour as 'a really good idea' given Astute's links with Wirral.

The ceremony and parade will take place on Sunday, September 20, followed by a civic reception at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.

HMS Astute is an operational nuclear-powered submarine in the Royal Navy, the lead ship of her class and is the second sub of the Navy to be named after the characteristics of shrewdness and discernment.

Wallasey Sea Cadet Unit is the oldest on Merseyside and became affiliated to HMS Astute, which was the newest vessel at the time.

All members of the council will be invited, along with representatives of the Royal Navy Association and others. It's hoped the Royal Marine Band also will be in attendance.

The local authority has granted Freedom of Entry to the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment in 1996, the Royal Marines in 1998, the Mercian Regiment in 2009, 234 (Wirral) Transport Squadron Royal Logistic Corps (Volunteers) in 2012 and 107 (Lancashire and Cheshire) Field Squadron Royal Engineers (Volunteers).