Preston Mayor to make history due to social distancing rules

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The current Mayor of Preston, Coun David Borrow, will be one of only three in the past century to serve in the role for more than a year.

Due to the current social distancing guidelines in place, council meetings at the Town Hall are currently cancelled and local elections have been postponed until 2021.

This means the leader, cabinet, councillors and mayor will be kept in the same post for another year.

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The role of Mayor of Preston is a tradition which the city has records of dating back to 1327.

The Mayor, Coun David BorrowThe Mayor, Coun David Borrow
The Mayor, Coun David Borrow | other

The Mayor acts as the city’s first citizen, which mean they speak on behalf of the city.

He or she has to be a Preston City Councillor and is usually someone who has served for many years.

They are to be selected to serve in office by their colleagues at the annual council meeting and will become the Mayor for a year.

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Coun Borrow, who is the 692nd Mayor of Preston, will continue in the role for a second year, until May 2021.

It is only the third time in recent history a Mayor has served for longer than the normal term of a year.

The previous two long term Mayors were during both world wars.

Lauded Prestonian Sir Harry Cartmell held the Mayoral title for six years from 1913 to 1919 throughout the First World War. It then fell upon Reuben Ainsworth to take the reins for two years from 1947-1949 following the Second World War.

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It is understood the council's chief executive, Adrian Phillips, made the decision after consultation with party leaders.

He said: “During these unprecedented circumstances exceptional decisions need to be made. Preston City Council is focused on supporting the community, NHS and all Prestonians during these difficulty times.

"Extending Coun Borrow’s time as the Mayor of Preston for another year will maintain a level of continuity as this difficult time.

"It is humbling to see the people of Preston pull together at this crucial time and thank everyone for their efforts – whether that’s staying at home, carrying on with their key worker roles or providing much needed care and support for our communities. It is very much appreciated.”

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Today Coun Borrow, who classes as a key worker, spoke about the accolade but acknowledged the circumstances were "not ideal".

He said: "Clearly everything's come to a standstill and I haven't taken part in any events or engagements for weeks, though I am still receiving documents through the post.

" The biggest event that's coming up is VE Day on May 8. It was going to be a big event on the Flag Market. I will be popping into the Town Hall to help do a commemoration video.

"I think in the circumstances it was inevitable. It means the new mayor will get a full year with a proper start and finish."

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