Local government stalwart is Ribble Valley's new mayor
A councillor who has fought 11 elections, served on district councils for 21 years and parish councils for 34 is Ribble Valley’s new mayor.
Retired computer programmer Tony Austin, who represents Billington and Langho, was brought up in Kingston on the North Downs in Kent and attended Loughborough University, where he studied chemistry.
He started work as a development chemist for a pharmaceutical company in High Wycombe, but retrained as a computer programmer and returned to Kent in 1974 to take up the post of chief computer programmer for a pharmaceutical company on the Isle of Sheppey, before starting his own software business in 1978.
He was elected to Canterbury City Council in 1976 until 1983, during which he was deputy-chairman of the council’s planning committee, then again from 2003 to 2015, being executive member for housing from 2007 until 2012.
He was Sheriff of Canterbury and the city’s Honorary Alderman for the municipal year 2014/15.
Coun. Austin was a governor of Geoffrey Chaucer Technology School from 1983 until 2003 and a Kingston parish councillor from 1983 until 2011, during which he served on the executive of the Kent Association of Parish Councils.
He moved to Langho in 2015 to be near his wife’s family and was immediately co-opted to Billington and Langho Parish Council, before being elected to Ribble Valley Borough Council in 2019.
Coun. Austin said: “I am honoured to be Mayor of Ribble Valley during these unprecedented times and aim to visit each parish over the coming year.
“Ribble Valley has a strong identity and heritage, and I look forward to representing this remarkable borough during my mayoral year.”
Coun. Austin’s mayoress is his wife, Pauline.