'Peter always put the people of Preston first'

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Tributes have been paid to the former leader of Preston City Council, Peter Rankin, who died on Sunday.

Mr Rankin, who served two spells as leader of the city authority, was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year.

READ MORE: Former council leader dies after cancer battle

His successor as council leader and former Tulketh ward colleague, Coun Matthew Brown, said: "All the Labour family in Preston and beyond are deeply saddened by the loss of Peter Rankin.

"Peter fought his illness very bravely refusing to give in.

"Preston wouldn't be at the stage it is now without him and Peter always put the people of Preston first. RIP Peter."

Former council leader Peter Rankin

Former council leader Peter Rankin

Deputy leader Coun Peter Moss said: "Peter Rankin was not only a colleague, he was a good friend of mine and many other councillors, from all parties.

"He was passionate about Preston and worked hard for the city, actively championing causes, projects and partnerships that he felt were important.

"The city is a better place for having had him as Leader and he will be greatly missed."

Leader of the Conservative opposition, Coun Neil Cartwright said: "I am devastated by this news. I have known Peter Rankin for a great many years and although we had our political differences, I have always held him in the highest regard.

"Peter loved this city and worked passionately for what he believed was best for its residents. We have all lost a great man, and my heart goes out to Lynn and his daughters at this incredibly sad time."

Coun Neil Darby, Liberal Democrat representative for Ingol ward, said: "I'm saddened to hear that Peter Rankin has passed away following his struggle with cancer.

"He was a good man and a proud advocate for Preston. My thoughts go to his friends and family."

Community leader Mukhtar Master, said: “Peter was without doubt a true community champion. Peter was single-handedly the driving force behind many events where his message was clearly that he stood should-to-shoulder in solidarity with the Muslim community. There are far too many to mention individually.
“I can categorically say that the legacy that Peter leaves behind is one which will forever be remembered - and sadly missed.”

Deputy leader Coun Peter Moss said: “Peter Rankin was not only a colleague, he was a good friend of mine and many other councillors, from all parties.
“He was passionate about Preston and worked hard for the city, actively championing causes, projects and partnerships that he felt were important.
“The city is a better place for having had him as Leader and he will be greatly missed.”

Sir Mark Hendrick, MP for Preston, said: “Very sad to hear the news of the passing of former Preston City Council Leader Peter Rankin. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P Peter.”

Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said: “Peter will be missed by many, such a giant figure in local politics in Lancashire. Thinking of all family and friends who grieve for him. RIP.”

Professor Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “This is a very sad time for the City and the University. Peter worked at UCLan for over 32 years where latterly he was our Principal Careers and Employability Advisor.
“He loved the day-to-day work of helping individual students find their professional calling. Peter was incredibly well liked and respected by the University community and made many good friends amongst our staff and students.”

David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, added: “In his council role we admired Peter’s tenacity and his sense of fairness. He always put the members of the community ahead of politics and worked tirelessly to welcome new members into the inclusive and diverse City community.

“Peter will be greatly missed by many of us, our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”