‘Thank you son, I will be the town’s next mayor!’

Coun Ian Coleman (right) with his son Coun Gary Coleman
Coun Ian Coleman (right) with his son Coun Gary Coleman
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It was a family affair as Blackpool Council voted to elect the town’s next mayor.

Coun Ian Coleman was chosen for the honour at last night’s meeting of the full council chaired by his son Coun Gary Coleman who is currently the resort’s deputy mayor.

Coun Ian Coleman, who represents Talbot ward for Labour, will take over from current first citizen Coun Kath Rowson in May.

He was elected due to his length of service on the local authority which includes two spells - from 1987 until 1995, and from May 2014 to the present day after winning a by-election.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn nominated Coun Coleman.

The leader himself had been next in line for the distinction which is based on the number of years each member has served but would have had to give up his role heading up the authority.

Instead, he said: “It gives me the greatest of pleasure to nominate Coun Ian Coleman for that great honour.”

Following a unanimous vote, Coun Coleman thanked members.

He said: “It is something that is overpowering.

“It is something that I dreamed of 30 years ago when I was first elected.

“I hope to hold that office and live it with dignity like so many of you have done in the past.”

He then quipped: “Mr deputy mayor I would like to thank you – so thank you son!”

Coun Coleman, 77, is already well known in the town from his role as president of the Royal British Legion Club on King Street for 27 years before stepping down last November.

He organised the annual Poppython at the club which has raised £137,500 for the Poppy Appeal over 26 years.

He stood down partly to focus more on his council work.

Eighteen months ago he also relinquished his role as president of the Blackpool Royal British Legion branch, but he remains an honorary life member in recognition of his years of commitment to the organisation.