CITY of York Council says it has no formal criteria to assess whether someone should be awarded the Freedom of the City of York.

The authority has clarified its policy in the wake of the decision by group leaders to reject an application for York-born former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable to be given the honour.

A spokeswoman said group leaders would look at each nomination independently, focussing particularly on their contribution to the local community in York.

She said people who had received the award over the past 20 years included Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench, Oscar-winning composer John Barry, York panto legendary dame Berwick Kaler, York Festival of Remembrance organiser Ted Griffiths and former University of York Vice Chancellor Sir Ron Cooke.