Age no barrier as Lily battles to get back on Blackpool Council

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Blackpool's oldest councillor is back on the election trail at the age of 92 and hoping to win over voters in the resort.

Lily Henderson is bidding to secure another four years in the town hall and hopes a recent bout of ill-health will not prevent her keeping her place in politics when residents go to the polls on May 2.

Coun Lily Henderson

Coun Lily Henderson

She is fighting to hold onto her seat in Highfield ward for the Conservatives in the face of competition from Labour.

Labour's candidates include Peter Hunter who wrestled one of the ward's seats from the Tories last time round.

Coun Henderson said: "Last week I had an eye operation so I haven't been able to get out and about, but I want to let people know I'm back on the campaign trail.

"I've done 30 years on the council, and I'm 92, but I'm still looking forward to the election.

"I'm desperate to get back on. What keeps me motivated are the people and I adore Blackpool which is my adopted town.

"I moved here when I was 24, and I only came for a fortnight to help the family get settled in a boarding house.

"But there's still a lot to do and I think I've still got a lot to offer. One of the things I want to do is carry on with free tennis lessons for local children if I get re-elected.

"To be chosen as a candidate I was interviewed and went through the same procedures with the Conservative party as everyone else.

"My running partner Gary has been helping me with leafleting, and I've got my car out and will be going out visiting people in the constituency.

"I'm 92 and I'm the oldest councillor but I hope people have enough faith in me to put me back in the town hall."

Coun Henderson was first elected as Squires Gate councillor in 1983 before losing her seat to Labour in 1995.

She was re-elected as councillor for Highfield in 2000 and became Mayor of Blackpool three years later.

She was awarded an MBE in 2005 in recognition of her contribution to the voluntary sector, and next year will celebrate a grand total of 30 years service.

Other candidates contesting seats in Highfield ward are Peter Hunter (Lab), Gary Pennington (Con) and Nicola Ryan (Labour).