Any and all local good causes are set to benefit from the new Mayor of Burnley’s year in office.
It was a proud day for new Mayor, Coun. Howard Baker, who took the civic chains of the borough in a ceremony at Burnley Town Hall where he announced that all community groups would be the recipients of his fund-raising this year.
Born at home in Angle Street, Duke Bar, Howard attended St Andrew’s Primary School and Burnley Grammar School where he excelled and earned a place at prestigious Merton College, Oxford, where he read physics.
A Labour councillor on Trinity ward for the last 11 years, the new Mayor’s first official role will be to represent the borough this weekend at Burnley’s twin town of Vitry.
He said: “Becoming the Mayor of Burnley is a very proud moment for me. I am very much looking forward to the next year and representing the borough.
“I was born and brought up in Burnley. My mother Betty was a weaver and my father Fletcher was the superintendent at North Street Baths.
“I have decided not to have one specific charity for my mayoral year, but instead will be inviting fund-raising for any local good causes. I know there are a lot of very small groups around the town that do a lot of good work, but struggle to find funding or even know how to access it. I hope this will help.”
The 69-year-old, who worked in engineering and sales before opening Falcon and Foxglove estate agents in the town in 2004, will have his partner of 25 years Tracey Rhodes as his Mayoress.
His sons Simon and Charles, sister June Young MBE, niece Jane Young and other proud relatives also attended the ceremony.
He added: “I have now chaired my first meeting of the council, which can be a little bit daunting due to all the rules and regulations that govern the processes, but I’m sure I will be given lots of good advice. It is very exciting and I hope to do my best for our town.”
Coun. Baker takes the chains of office from previous incumbent Coun. Jeff Sumner whose Liberal Democrat colleague Coun. Charlie Briggs will be this year’s Deputy Mayor.
There will be a Mayor at Home event on Tuesday at Burnley Town Hall from 2pm to 4pm where the public can meet Coun. Baker. He will also be attending a garden party for civic dignitaries at Buckingham Palace on June 1st.