Simon is Padiham Mayor at 26!

The new Mayor of Padiham, Coun. Simon Morley (right) and his consort Phil Riley.
The new Mayor of Padiham, Coun. Simon Morley (right) and his consort Phil Riley.

“My heart belongs to Padiham.” That simple but heartfelt pledge came from Padiham’s newly-elected Mayor, Coun. Simon Morley, during his installation this week.

At 26, he is the youngest mayor since the town council was launched in 2001. Coun. Morley said one of his missions during his year in office was to get young people involved in shaping the future of Padiham.

He said: “I want young adults to come along to our meetings and let us know their feelings and what they want to see happening in their town. A lot of them don’t realise the town council is here and they can come along to see what we are doing but also become involved.”

Coun. Morley already has strong connections with young people as a Scout leader with St John’s RC Church, Padiham, and he is a teacher of technical theatre and drama in Rochdale.

Revealing that he had a lot of ideas and projects in the pipeline, including the launch of a youth council, Coun. Morley said he was “honoured and privileged” to be elected as Mayor especially in such an historic year marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in London.

Coun. Morley, who lives in Read, added:”I think we have a very exciting year ahead in Padiham and I want people to know I am your Mayor and my heart lies in Padiham.”

The new Mayor chose friend and fellow Scout leader Mr Phil Riley as his consort.

Originally from Prestwich, Manchester, Coun. Morley moved to East Lancashire as a child and became a town councillor two years ago. Among the dozens of supporters who turned out for the red carpet ceremony on Monday were Coun. Morley’s parents, Mr Phil Denton and Mrs Dianne Denton-Morley, and representatives of the Scout Association. The Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Coun. David and Mrs Joan Heginbotham, were also there.

The new Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Padiham are Coun. Alan Ravenscroft and his wife Linda.

Stepping down as Mayor after his second term in office, Coun. Bob Clark revealed he had raised the incredible sum of £8,200 for the Padiham Community Fund. Groups and organisations will be able to apply for cash help from this fund by filling in an application form available from the town council office based at Padiham Town Hall. These will be available from Monday, May 21st.

Coun. Clark paid special tribute to his wife and Mayoress, Mrs Ann Clark, and their 13-year-old granddaughter, Sophie, for their sterling effort during their year in office.

Coun. Clark said: “I wish to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this such a fantastic year.

“There is so much to be proud of in Padiham now. The River Calder is now a Grade II river, we have the superb Greenway and a fantastic new play area for the town’s Memorial Park.

“The people of Padiham still face a lot of challenges but they are resilient and they will meet them head-on.”