Preston is to lose one of its most revered councillors, after Frank De Molfetta revealed he was stepping down.Advertisement
Councillor De Molfetta, 68, will not stand for re-election in May, so he can spend more time with his wife Georgine.
In an emotional interview from his home in Regent Drive, Fulwood, Frank thanked his constituents who have voted him in on six consecutive occasions: “I have been privileged and honoured to have served my constituents in every single election. I am very grateful to them, and I will never forget them. It’s as simple as that.”
Frank has served the Moor Park area since May 1991 and fought back tears as he relived his 20 years in the role.
The move to Preston
He came to the city in 1960 and only planned to stay for 12 months to learn the language, but ended up working at Whittingham Hospital for four years before moving to Preston bus to become a conductor.
He worked as one for 39 years, before retiring in 2005 so he could focus on his council roles.
Frank said it was with a heavy heart he would be stepping down, but said he was going nowhere.
David Borrow, former MP for South Ribble, has been chosen as the Labour candidate to replace him.
“If David gets elected for Moor Park, it will have John Collins, him and myself, so there will be effectively three people serving the area instead of two. I’ll be an extra pair of hands!”
“It’ll give me more time to walk around and talk to people and hear their views, and try to deliver, in difficult circumstances, to improve their lives.”
Frank intends to carry on as a Lancashire County Councillor, a role he has held since the death of Brian Johnson, in 2005.
He also said he had no intentions to step down from the role, until told otherwise: “Stepping down as a Preston councillor gives me and my wife a bit of free time, but I will not slack from my duties, that will not happen.”
The Italian said that retirement didn’t mean putting his feet up, rather the opposite: “I’m not short of work, I’ve got plenty to keep myself busy with. I won’t be putting my feet up. I will be able to dedicate more time to my constituents now.”
In the 1991 election, Frank sneaked in by just 146 votes, and said the gap could have easily been closed over the four years:“I always believe that if you take a position, you should be working hard for your constituents.”
“My idea was to serve the people of the ward, and I did that and I dedicated myself by being in touch with them, delivering information to them and responding to their needs. This is how I was fortunate enough to be elected six times.”
Frank will get his final hurrah later this month, if all goes to plan, as the consultation phase for the Alley-gating scheme in the Canaries comes to a close.
A decision is expected to be made in favour of the scheme Frank spearheaded, unless any objections are made.
“Problems don’t sort themselves over night, but it takes hard work and effort. I’m not saying Moor Park is a perfect situation, there are still things to be done, but we try to respond to every need of our constituents.”
The regeneration of the Moor Park play area is also on his agenda, with the work expected to be finished in April.