New city leadership outlines Preston vision

New leadership at Preston Town Hall
New leadership at Preston Town Hall
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The new leader of Preston City Council has pledged to lead a “forward-thinking” administration for the coming year.

Coun Matthew Brown was confirmed as the successor to Peter Rankin on Thursday during the first council meeting since the local elections.

The Tulketh ward representative announced cabinet member Coun Peter Moss would serve as his deputy and unveiled a new-look cabinet.

He said: “It will be a creative and forward-thinking administration.

“Things in this city need to change, people out there are not getting the opportunities they want.

"We’ve still got inequality because of austerity and we’ve still got poverty.

“We’re going to have a radical Labour Council but it’s going to be done in a sensible way, we want to work in collaboration with other parties if necessary and alongside the public sector and businesses in Preston.”

First elected in 2002, Coun Brown has been a member of the Cabinet since 2011 – initially for community engagement and inclusion and more recently as member for social justice, inclusion and policy.

Couns Moss (planning and regulation), Peter Kelly (culture and leisure) and Martyn Rawlinson (resources and performance) were retained in the ruling cabinet.

They will be joined by Couns Brian Rollo (environment), who served as city mayor last year, and newly elected Nweeda Khan (communities and social inclusion).

Last year’s deputy leader Coun Robert Boswell opted not to stand for a cabinet role, it was announced.

Former council leader Peter Rankin was unanimously voted to become the city’s latest honorary alderman during the meeting although he was not able to be present because of his ill-health.

The chamber was told a full ceremony will take place when the former Tulketh councillor - who was diagnosed with a brain tumour late last year - and his family are able to attend.

Coun Brown said: “We all want to see him celebrate this honour, along with his family, as soon as possible. He should be commemorated for all his achievements...and his eminent service.”