Councillor Mark Townsend has been appointed Mayor of Burnley 2021/22.
He stepped down as leader of the Labour group on the council to be able to take up the position as the borough’s First Citizen.
He was appointed during a ceremony at the Mechanics Theatre, Burnley. The event was revised from its usual format to take into account Covid restrictions. A wider Civic event will be held later in the year.
Coun. Townsend was born in Darwen and spent his early years in the town before his parents moved to Burnley to run a newsagent business in Brunshaw. He attended Towneley High and Burnley Grammar schools before taking a job as an apprentice mechanic at Hapton Valley Colliery.
Since then he has had a varied career covering mining, aerospace and software development before taking up his current role in local government.
Coun. Townsend is married to Kerry, who will be his Mayoress, and the couple have a daughter Rosie.
The Mayor has chosen Safenet, keeping women and children safe from domestic abuse; the Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal; and Derian House, providing respite and end-of-life care for children and young people to benefit from his Charity Fund.
He said: "It’s great honour to serve as Mayor and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“These remain very challenging times as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives and no doubt this will impact throughout my municipal year.
“I'm really looking forward to discovering more about the people and places that make our borough such a varied and exciting place for people to live.
“I’d like to thank my predecessor Councillor Wajid Khan for his hard work as Mayor during what was an extremely difficult year.”