Derek salutes new Blackpool military role
A councillor with 22 years military service behind him has been appointed Blackpool Council's new armed forces champion.
Coun Derek Robertson, who served with the Royal Signals, said he hoped his own experiences would help him in the role.
Coun Robertson, who represents Waterloo ward for the Conservatives, now runs a hotel in the resort but served in Germany and Saudi Arabia after enlisting at the age of 16.
He spent two years working alongside the Saudi Arabia National Guard and was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for the work he did, before being posted back the Germany in 1985 where he served with 7 Signal Regiment Herford.
Coun Robertson later switched to the Royal Logistics Corps and was based at Abingdon, Oxford, when he finished his time in the army.
He said: "As an army veteran myself I was very happy to accept the position of armed forces champion and having served my country for 22 years I’m looking forward to the job ahead.
"I know Blackpool has many serving forces, reserve forces, cadet forces and veterans from all the forces here in the North West and I am looking forward to meeting and chatting with as many people as possible."
Coun Robertson's role will also include taking part in Blackpool Armed Forces Week from June 24 to June 30.
The week will be launched with the raising of the flag at the Town Hall between 10am and 11am, with many events lined up during the week before a service at the Blackpool Cenotaph at 12.30pm on Sunday June 30.
Blackpool's former armed forces champion was Chris Ryan who lost his seat at the May local elections.