New Mayor of Burnley will support three charities in his civic year

The former leader of the council has been appointed Mayor of Burnley for 2021/22.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 1:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 1:34 pm

Labour's Coun. Mark Townsend took the civic chains from his party colleague, outgoing Mayor Coun. Wajid Khan, at a ceremony at the Burnley Mechanics Theatre last night.

He stepped down as leader of the Labour group on the council to be able to take up the position as the borough’s First Citizen.

The event was revised from its usual format to take into account Covid restrictions. A wider civic event will be held later in the year.

Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Mark Townsend, and his Mayoress Mrs Kerry Townsend
Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Mark Townsend, and his Mayoress Mrs Kerry Townsend

Coun. Townsend was born in Darwen and spent his early years in the town before his parents moved to Burnley to run a newsagent business in Brunshaw. He attended Towneley High and Burnley Grammar schools before taking a job as an apprentice mechanic at Hapton Valley Colliery.

Since then he has had a varied career covering mining, aerospace and software development before taking up his current role in local government.

Coun. Townsend is married to Kerry, who will be his Mayoress, and the couple have a daughter Rosie.

The Mayor has chosen Safenet, keeping women and children safe from domestic abuse; the Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal; and Derian House, providing respite and end-of-life care for children and young people to benefit from his Charity Fund.

He said: "It’s great honour to serve as Mayor and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“These remain very challenging times as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives and no doubt this will impact throughout my municipal year.

“I'm really looking forward to discovering more about the people and places that make our borough such a varied and exciting place for people to live.

“I’d like to thank my predecessor Coun. Wajid Khan for his hard work as Mayor during what was an extremely difficult year.”