Civic honour for Preston Council stalwarts

Bhikhu Patel, when he was Mayor of Preston
Bhikhu Patel, when he was Mayor of Preston
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A long-serving councillor and a former mayor are to be made honorary aldermen of Preston at a special ceremony.

Ex-Conservative group leader Eric Fazackerley, and former mayor Bhikhu Patel, will both be honoured in the Town Hall on Thursday.

Eric Fazackerley

Eric Fazackerley

With a combined total service of almost 40 years, the pair has been invited to the special event to be recognised by council bosses for their “eminent service”.

Mr Fazackerley, 82, served on the council for 20 years, and was both deputy group leader and Conservative leader during that time.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to it, and I really appreciate the efforts of colleagues to get my name put forward.”

Mr Fazackerley, who lives in Fulwood and represented Sharoe Green ward, said the highlight of his service was when the Conservatives led Preston Council.

He said: “Those were the times under Ken (Hudson) when we learnt a lot.

“It was quite exciting trying to get the plans in place for the development of Preston, unfortunately they didn’t come to fruition.”

He added: “Overall, I enjoyed my time, and I really enjoyed working on housing.”

Former Labour councillor Bhikhu Patel, who represented Riversway ward, will also be honoured at the ceremony.

Mr Patel, who first joined the council in 1990, served for a total of 18 years and was mayor from 2005 to 2006.

The Lancashire Evening Post was unable to contact Mr Patel yesterday.

Speaking when he stepped down from the council earlier this year, he said he had enjoyed his time as mayor “tremendously”.

He also said he would continue his work as president of the Gujarat Hindu Society.

The ceremony will be held in the council chamber of the Town Hall.