Dignitaries from Preston and South Ribble have gathered to welcome new mayors for the year ahead.
Coun Margaret McManus, who represents the Sharoe Green ward in Preston, was sworn into the prestigious role in front of a packed council meeting at the Town Hall on Wednesday night.
Seven miles away in Leyland’s Civic Centre, Coun Mary Green officially received the iconic robes and chain from South Ribble’s retiring first citizen, Coun Graham Walton, at a special meeting of the full council.
Conservative Coun McManus was first elected to the Tulketh ward in 1976, before coming off the council two years later.
The former nurse came back in 2000, defeating Valerie Wise, and held the seat for three years. She returned in 2006 in the Sharoe Green ward.
Coun Neil Cartwright, who was elected alongside Coun McManus in 1976, proposed her as mayor and this was seconded by leader of the council, Coun Peter Rankin.
With my caring background, I am particularly interested in young people and supporting the elderly.Coun Margaret McManus
Coun Cartwright said: “Margaret has always handled her caseload with compassion, diligence, enthusiasm and invariably, success. Even when she’s been under the weather, she is out on the streets, working for the people of Preston.
“If there’s a job to be done, Margaret will do it, whatever the circumstances.”
Coun Rankin said: “Margaret is only interested in doing her very best for the council and the people of Preston.”
Coun Pauline Brown, who supported the nomination, said Coun McManus was a “warm, compassionate person with a huge motherly heart”, but said she also “has a rod of steel running through her”.
Retiring mayor Coun Nicholas Pomfrett handed over the symbolic mayoral robes, staff, seal and keys to the town hall to Coun McManus as part of the ceremony.
In her first speech as mayor, Coun McManus thanked her family, friends and colleagues, and said: “With my caring background, I am particularly interested in young people and supporting the elderly.
“I look forward to visiting many places and helping whenever I can.
“It’s an honour to be in this position.”
The great-grandmother of eight also paid tribute to Coun Pomfrett, saying: “It has been a pleasure being his deputy. He is very much a calming influence and I have learnt a lot from him.”
Her consorts will be her brother Jim Johnstone and friend Peter Mullineux, and her two charties for the year ahead are St Catherine’s Hospice and Heartbeat.
After the South Ribble ceremony, Coun Green said: “This is such a huge privilege and I am incredibly proud to be the new mayor of South Ribble.
“I’m looking forward to a busy year, working tirelessly to meet as many people as possible while raising as much money for charity and promoting the fantastic borough where we are lucky to live.”
Coun Green was first elected to the council in 2007 after following in her son Michael’s footsteps, and the pair now represent the Moss Side ward together.
She will be joined on her mayoral duties by her husband of more than 40 years, Tony who will act as consort.
Coun Green added: “As mayor, I’d really like to get out and visit as many businesses as possible, as I feel they are the real backbone of South Ribble.
“I’m also passionate about education and I’m looking forward to being invited to our many wonderful schools and college facilities, as well as promoting youth and uniformed groups.
“I’m also keen to meet as many older people as possible and really getting involved in our vibrant communities.”
Her chosen mayoral charities are St Catherine’s Hospice, the Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Legacy Rainbow House.