Mayor reflects on ‘wonderful’ year in office

The Mayor of South Ribble says she feels ‘overwhelmed’ by the support she has received in her ‘wonderful’ year as the First Citizen.

It will be an emotional night on Wednesday (May 17) when Councillor Linda Woollard hands over her iconic robes and chains after an action-packed year in office.

Since taking up the role last May, the Mayor and her Consort, husband of 49 years Alistair, have attended almost 200 official engagements as well as dozens of Council meetings and countless fundraising events.

They were the special guests at Leyland Festival, riding in the Popemobile in the annual parade, and have spent the year visiting schools, churches, residential homes, businesses and community groups.

Reflecting on her time as Mayor, Councillor Woollard said: “I thought it would be great, but it’s been 100 times better than I could ever have imagined.

“I feel truly overwhelmed by people’s support and want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

“It’s been a privilege to meet people from all walks of life and I shall always remember this wonderful year.”

A retired teacher from Penwortham, Councillor Woollard has represented the Broad Oak ward since May 2007.

As a big fan of art, the Mayor has enjoyed her regular visits to South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre – particularly a High School Art Exhibition Awards night attended by more than 300 pupils.

Throughout the year, the Mayor has raised funds for her three chosen charities - St Catherine’s Hospice, Heartbeat (North West) and Galloway’s Society for the Blind.

Councillor Woollard added: “I’ve absolutely loved being able to raise the profile of these three wonderful causes. They made me feel welcome when I visited during the year.”

Other highlights include celebrating two residents’ 100th birthdays, touring Runshaw College and seeing the brand new BAE Systems Centre of Excellence in Samlesbury.

The Mayor said she will also cherish fond memories of launching the world’s first Truck Trail in Leyland, attending the borough’s first Veterans’ Café and meeting Worden – Leyland’s very own guide dog puppy who was named after our award-winning park.

“Having been there at the launch of the fundraising appeal for Worden, it was absolutely tremendous to be there at the end and to meet him – what a cute pup he is,” said Councillor Woollard.

She added: “Finally, I would like to wish the new Mayor, Councillor Mick Titherington, all the very best – I’m sure he will have an absolutely brilliant year.”

Councillor Titherington, who represents the Broadfield ward, will officially take up the role on Wednesday at the Mayor’s Installation Ceremony.

It will be followed by the Mayor’s Banquet on Friday, May 19.