Graham is looking forward to a golden year as mayor

Pendle’s new mayor, Coun. Graham Roach, was voted into office at the council’s annual meeting.

He will be joined joined by his partner Joanna Sagar as the mayoress.

New Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun Graham Roach and Joanna Sagar with, Andrea Hoadley, Judith Leonard, Beryl Roach and Neil Roach

New Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun Graham Roach and Joanna Sagar with, Andrea Hoadley, Judith Leonard, Beryl Roach and Neil Roach

The council also appointed its Deputy Mayor, Coun. Nawaz Ahmed, and Deputy Mayoress, Mrs Azmat Ahmed.

And there were big thanks to Coun. Smith Benson and his daughter Mrs Margaret Ingham who have now retired as the Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle.

Coun. Roach (61) was moved by fellow Liberal Democrat Coun. Tony Greaves, who said: “My privilege today is to move Coun. Graham Roach as the Mayor of Pendle for the coming year. I think he is the third Mayor of Pendle to have represented Waterside Ward in Colne.”

Lord Greaves made it clear Coun. Roach carries out effective work as an engineer.

And he said: “He has proved his work on the council. His scrutiny in the council has been really successful.”

But he joked that, when Mr Roach said he wanted to be a councillor, Coun. Greaves thought: “I think this man is good – or a nutcase!”

And he finished by saying: “I think Graham will be an excellent mayor. I have very great pleasure in moving my colleague.”

Conservative Coun. Graham Waugh seconded his role, describing him as a “sensible councillor” and said: “I am sure the Mayor and Mayoress will enjoy their year and they will have our full support.”

And Labour’s Coun. Asjad Mahmood added: “Graham would find it an honour to represent Pendle as Mayor - and the Mayoress! Have a successful mayoral year.”

The new Mayor thanked the retiring mayor and said: “He has had a very successful year and I think we have formed a good Mayoral team.”

He thanked his fellow Liberals for their support and praised John David, who has retired after being a councillor for 37 years.

And he said: “Councillors play a very important role in planning, running, monitoring and developing council business and strategy. Councillors also work very hard to improve the quality of life for people within their area.”

The Mayoress’s Charity Appeal Fund will support The Brain Tumour Trust, Pendle Helping Hands and Help for Heroes.

He then detailed changes taking place in Pendle, including a new supermarket and pub in North Valley, Colne; a new supermarket in Barnoldswick; a major scheme for Brierfield Mills; new schools around the borough; schemes in Whitefield, Nelson; Colne Health Centre; and the Steven Burke Cycling Hub in Nelson.

Then Coun. Paul White said: “I’d like to move a vote of thanks to the retiring Mayor and Mayoress. Coun. Benson has been a great support for me over the three years I have been on the council. Smith joined the Young Conservatives when he was 17!”

Labour’s Coun. Ian Tweedie thanked them for all the hard work they had done, and Coun. Greaves said it was quite a wonderful year they had had and there were then thanks from all councillors.

Coun. Benson said he and the mayoress hade enjoyed a very successful year. Their Mayoress’s Charity has raised £9,495.28 for Pendleside Hospice, Rosemere Cancer Foundation and St John Ambulance.

Labour councillor Robert Allen proposed the new Deputy Mayor and said: “It gives me great pleasure to propose Coun. Nawaz Ahmed. I wish Coun. Ahmed and Mrs Ahmed an excellent year.”

Liberal Ken Hartley was the seconder and said it was “a proud tradition”.

And council leader Joe Cooney said: “This time next year will come very quickly!”.

And Coun. Ahmed (64) said to the new Mayor: “I look forward to working with you this year.”

He thanked his colleagues in the Labour group and said: “I am looking forward to my apprenticeship during the next 12 months!”