Blackpool’s new Mayor says she is looking forward to “a very special year” after her investiture at the resort’s Town Hall.
Coun Val Haynes officially took the chain of office from outgoing Mayor Coun Eddie Collett in the Mayor Making ceremony, which was held yesterday afternoon.
Labour councillor Coun Haynes, who has represented Hawes Side ward for almost 20 years, has previously served as the authority’s Deputy Mayor on three separate occasions.
In her maiden speech to assembled councillors, dignitaries, friends and family members, she said: “This, to me, will be a very special year.
“I was born and bred in Blackpool and, to me, Blackpool is a wonderful town, and to become the first citizen – I don’t think I could ever be prouder.”
Coun Haynes, a grandmother-of-four, also celebrates her ruby wedding anniversary in the coming year and has chosen Donna’s Dream House and The Snowdrop Centre as her Mayoral charities.
She added: “This year it’s my last year on the council and I will have done 20 years.
“During that time I’ve met some really wonderful people.
“The reception of the people of Blackpool has been marvellous.
“We really do have the most community-minded, generous people living here in Blackpool.”
Coun Chris Ryan will hold the post of Deputy Mayor.