New Mayor's praise for Padiham

Padiham's new Town Mayor has received his civic chains, but will have to wait for a more formal ceremony as repair work continues at Padiham Town Hall.

NEW MAYOR: Padiham Town Mayor Coun. James Kirk, wife Melanie and daughter Sophie (PIC: Howard Hudson)
NEW MAYOR: Padiham Town Mayor Coun. James Kirk, wife Melanie and daughter Sophie (PIC: Howard Hudson)

Town Coun. James Kirk was presented with his chains of office on the steps of Padiham Town Hall, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment following the devastating Boxing Day floods.

Coun. Kirk (38) has chosen his wife Melanie as his Mayoress, and the couple’s three-year-old daughter Sophie was also present at the ceremony.

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The new Mayor said: “When the subject of becoming Mayor first came up, I said I wanted to serve as a deputy first because I wanted to learn more about the role and do it justice.

“It was actually a baptism of fire as the town had to deal with the devastating Boxing Day floods.

“The response of the residents was absolutely amazing with everyone rallying round to help each other.

“It also gave people a chance to get to know me and vice versa. The silver lining from the floods is that the town will get a much improved town hall and ballroom.

“I would love to see the whole of Padiham come out to celebrate this and themselves for all the hard work they have done since the floods.”

Indeed, Coun. Kirk has said he would like to see his formal mayor-making allied with a public re-opening of the revamped town hall later in the year.

A town councillor for five years, Coun. Kirk works as an IT consultant, specialising in military contracts. He worked in Saudi Arabia as the country took receipt of British-made Typhoon jet fighters.

Educated at the private Stoneyhurst College, Coun. Kirk is the son of Gary kirk, who owns Kirk Scaffolding, and Christine Kirk, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire. She is also the former chairman of the East Lancashire Hospitals, NHS Trust.