Town hall grants leave of absence for longstanding Blackpool councillor

Coun Lily Henderson
Coun Lily Henderson
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A Blackpool councillor has been granted permission to miss council meetings while she gets over a bout of illness.

It was agreed at full council to give Conservative member Coun Lily Henderson leave of absence up until the next annual meeting in May 2020.

Coun Henderson is Blackpool’s oldest councillor at the age of 92 after retaining her Highfield ward seat at May’s local elections.

She said: “I am hoping to carry on with my council work.

“In the meantime I’ve got people helping me and I’ve had a visit from the chief executive about how I’m getting on.”

Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said despite Coun Henderson’s set-backs with her health “her spirit and love of this town has certainly not diminished.”

Town hall rules mean if a councillor fails to attend any meetings within a six month period they must give up their seat unless the council approves the reasons for the absence as has happened in Coun Henderson’s case.

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.