Jeff is the new Mayor of Burnley
It was an emotional occasion at Burnley's Mayor-making ceremony when the borough's first citizen and new incumbent shed tears.
Rosehill Liberal Democrat Coun. Jeff Sumner took the mayoral chains from the departing Coun. Liz Monk at Burnley Town Hall in front of friends, family and fellow members.
The new Mayor, who fought back tears as he remembered his late parents, said: “If someone had told me many years ago that one day I would be delivering this speech, I would not have believed it.
“I stand here today a very proud and honoured man who feels very privileged. And for this, I have to thank my fellow councillors for the honour they have bestowed upon me, by electing me as Mayor for the forthcoming year and also a big thank you to the residents of Rosehill and Burnley Wood for electing me to be their ward councillor who, without their support, this would not be happening.
“I am proud to have been born in Burnley and in particular the Stoops estate area of the town. I was brought up in a three up and two down terraced house by my late parents Joan and Stanley.
“Becoming Mayor is the greatest honour that has ever been bestowed on the Sumner family name, which I am very proud and honoured of, and it will go down on record in history.”
Looking back on her mayoral year, which included Burnley Football Club’s promotion back to the Premier League and a charity parachute jump, Coun. Monk said she was proud to have represented the borough.
She said: “Last year was, as you know, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
“It was a great honour to lay wreaths in Burnley’s Peace Garden and at Towneley war memorial in memory of all the Burnley men who fought and died in that conflict.
“I would like to thank the people of Burnley and Pennine Lancashire, from all the voluntary services, for raising awareness of so many charitable causes who courageously, in the face of adversity, illness and personal bereavement, carried on their great work regardless.”