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Former council leader Peter Rankin dies after cancer battle

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Peter Rankin, the former leader of Preston City Council, died on Sunday, the town hall has said.

Mr Rankin, who was made an honorary alderman of the city earlier this year, was diagnosed with a brain tumour six months ago.

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He is survived by his wife Lynn and two daughters.

A statement released by the city council on Monday said further details about funeral arrangements will be issued at a later date.

It added: "A proud adopted-Prestonian, Peter believed in working closely with neighbouring local authorities and partners for the benefit of the local area.

"He was passionate about the regeneration of the city and the new Preston Market Hall was the embodiment of that passion and drive.

Former leader of Preston City Council Peter Rankin

Former leader of Preston City Council Peter Rankin

"Our thoughts are with his family at this time."

The 67-year-old was first elected to the council in 1982 and served on dozens of committees and outside bodies.

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He had two spells as council leader - between 1997 and 2000 and also from 2011 until this year when he opted not to stand for re-election following his diagnosis.

In one of his last appearances in the council chamber, Mr Rankin revealed he was battling gliobastoma and had been receiving chemo and radio therapy.

Peter Rankin at the opening of the new Preston Markets

Peter Rankin at the opening of the new Preston Markets

His former Tulketh ward colleague Matthew Brown succeeded him as leader with the pair having been at the forefront of the authority's celebrated Preston Model community wealth building initiative.

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Council documents outlining the reasons for him being made the city's 30th honorary alderman read: "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."

The chamber unanimously voted in favour of making Mr Rankin an alderman last month although the full ceremony was placed on hold so that he and his family could 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."