The next mayor of Lancaster will officially don his robes at a special ceremony on Friday.
Coun David Whitaker will take over as the Mayor of Lancaster in a centuries old tradition at the city’s Ashton Hall.
The Labour man was first elected to the city council, representing Harbour ward in Morecambe, from 1999 to 2007 and then again from May 2011 to the present day.
orn and raised in Lancaster, he attended Central Lancaster High before moving on to Lancaster and Morecambe College to study health and social care.
In the early 1990s he moved to Morecambe after being employed at the then Cartmel Day Centre on Euston Road. He currently works at Vale View Day Centre in Lancaster, which provides older people with help, support and a place to make new friends.
Outside of work, Coun Whitaker is a keen supporter of the local music scene in all its different guises, and has a diverse taste of everything from classical to punk rock.
“One of the joys of living in our wonderful district is the huge range of different cultural activities of offer,” he added.
“It’s not unusual to see me one day enjoying the Royal Opera House at the Dukes and the next a punk rock band in the pub!”
Coun David Whitaker has been a long time champion of LGBT Rights and will be the city council’s first openly gay Mayor. He is also a keen cyclist and enjoys swimming as a means of keeping fit.
The Mayor’s chosen charity for his year in office is Defying Dementia, a Lancaster University led project which aims to raise funds to develop a new drug to tackle Alzheimer’s.
Reflecting on his choice of charity, the new mayor said: “Tackling dementia is one of the biggest issues we face as a society.
“With my working background being in the care industry I’m all too aware of the destructive nature of dementia and how it effects memory and personality.
“It is heart breaking to see what it does not only to the individual but to their families as well – it’s a dreadful disease that we need to do all we can to try and cure and I’m hoping to raise as much money as I can to contribute towards the research into a cure.”
During his mayoral year he will be supported by his deputy mayor, Coun Alan Biddulph.
Following his installation, one of Coun Whitaker’s first public engagements as mayor will be the traditional Mayor’s Sunday Service at the Priory Church at 11.30am on May 19, to which all are welcome.