Preston's mayor reflects on 'wonderful year'
Preston's mayoral chains will be handed over to a new first citizen this week, meaning it is a time of reflection for the current incumbent.
Having recently notched up their 500th event of his tenure, Coun Brian Rollo and wife Trisha are looking forward to a well-earned break.
Speaking to the Post from his 511th engagement, Coun Rollo said it is a role he is going to miss.
And that figure could reach nearer the 520 mark with further visit scheduled ahead of Wednesday mayor-making ceremony.
He said: “We’ve had a wonderful year, we’ve really enjoyed it.
“It has been great travelling around Preston and meeting so many people and little groups - many that you would not know existed - doing wonderful things.
“We’re looking forward to a break but we will miss it. (The 500 engagements) may be a record in recent times.”
Coun Rollo, who represents Labour for Ribbleton ward, will pass on his responsibilities to Conservative councillor Trevor Hart, who has served as deputy Mayor this year.
Having set a hard act to follow, does Coun Rollo believe the ceremonial role of the city mayor remains a crucial one?
He said: “It’s a mark of respect from the city to all the community groups we have and everything they’re doing.
“The people of Preston really like seeing the Mayor and appreciate the recognition they are given when we visit them. As first citizen we’re representing the city, it’s important.”
Coun Hart will assume the role on Wednesday and will have his daughter Sarah McAlea and family friend Laura King alongside him as mayoresses. He will be the city’s 691st Mayor.
Speaking to the Post earlier this year he said: “I believe that the office of Mayor is a very important one for the city - I’ve always felt that. I’d fight those people who want to reduce it, or cut it out altogether. Brian is doing a magnificent job.
"He has accepted practically every invitation. Like me he values it so much. We get so many requests every year from all kinds of organisations and that proves just how popular the role of Mayor is to people.”