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Former Preston Council leader to be given rare honour

Former leader of the council Peter Rankin
Former leader of the council Peter Rankin
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Former leader of Preston Council, Peter Rankin, is to be handed a ceremonial title for his record of service to the city.

The ex-councillor, who opted not to stand for re-election this year as he is receiving treatment for a brain tumour, is set to be made an honorary alderman next week.

Mr Rankin, who had two spells as council leader - between 1997 and 2000 and then between 2011 and this year - has been credited with promoting a “resilient and thriving city for all Prestonians” and for “bringing people together” as chair of the city’s faith forum.

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A report that calls on elected members to pass a resolution to grant him the alderman title reads: “He was first elected to the council in 1982 and during this first period as an elected member he served on 43 committees.

“He was chair or vice chair of six committees and served on 31 outside bodies including governing bodies of local schools.”

The former leader will be succeeded in the top job by former Tulketh ward colleague Coun Matthew Brown, with the pair having been at the forefront of the authority’s Preston Model community wealth building initiative.

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He will become the city’s 30th alderman when the council meets next Thursday.

The report adds: “It is in his championing the regeneration of the city centre and in particular the new markets project that Peter has revealed his love for his adopted home.

“From the outset he gave it his personal commitment, through good times and challenging moments, steering it through to its opening early this year.”