This is the latest in our series looking at the people who represent us.
Name: Bill Shannon
Which ward do you represent: Ingol
How long have you represented the ward: I was elected in May 2003 – so just over ten years
Do you live in the ward/How long have you lived in the ward: I don’t live in the ward, although I spend so much time there my wife says she thinks I do.
Do you still work? If so, what do you do. Depends what you mean by “work”. After I retired, I went back to university and got an MA and then a PhD. I am now a Researcher in History at Lancaster University – which is unpaid, but takes up about a third of my time, researching and writing papers in academic journals on my subject, which is mainly landscape history in the Tudor/Stuart period. Amongst other (unpaid) roles, I am Chair of the Ingol and Tanterton Community Trust (INTACT), and Vice-President and Treasurer of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society – both of which take up a fair part of my “spare” time. Then I am also Chair of Ingol Community Primary School Governors, a Trustee of the Preston Citizens’ Advice Bureau, a Trustee of the Cumbria County History Trust, Treasurer of the Lancashire Archaeological Society and various other (unpaid) roles
If you’ve retired, what did you used to do. At the end of my career, I was Corporate Affairs Director for The Co-operative Group in Manchester (the parent group which owns the Co-op Bank, Co-op shops, funerals, farms etc). The job involved heading up communication, public relations and government relations. Most of my career was spent in various marketing roles within the Co-op sector – I moved to Preston in 1981 to take up a job as the Marketing Manager of Greater Lancastria Co-op, with an office in Shelley Road.
What’s your favourite thing about your ward/or place to visit in your ward. Whatever I say here is going to get me into trouble. But I suppose the answer has to be INTACT on Whitby Avenue. Come and try our new café, Whitby’s, which opened in August
Describe your perfect day spent in and around Preston (what would you do, where would you go?). Preston (and Lancaster) are my workplaces. I tend to take my leisure in South Cumbria (see below). In Preston, apart from a day at the Town Hall (!), I love to spend a day at the Lancashire Archives on Bow Lane, researching old documents. I like Avenham and Miller Parks, and the new wildlife centre at Brockholes. And just across from my house are the Hills and Hollows, for a little woodland walk between Fulwood and Brookfield
What are you most proud of since you became a councillor. A lot of the things Councillors get excited about don’t really turn anyone else on, so I won’t go on about, for example, changes I’ve persuaded Council to make to its constitution. I was also very proud to be involved in helping to set up Community Gateway, and being on its Board for eight years. I think all of Ingol can take pride in the huge strides made in tackling anti-social behaviour in the last ten years. And on a personal note, being made a Guild Burgess at the end of the 2012 Guild made me very proud indeed
What one thing would you change about Preston. The city centre desperately needs investment and redevelopment, to make it fit for purpose, with a twenty-first century retail, leisure and hospitality offer, appropriate office/commercial development, and a world-class university. It’s a shame some buildings will have to go, but you can’t let bricks-and-mortar (or more specifically, concrete) get in the way of a dream.
How do you see Preston’s future. Thriving – see above
What do you do when you’re not being a councillor or at work. We have a caravan in South Cumbria, which my wife says we don’t spend enough time at. When we are there, we walk a lot, but I’m no good on hills anymore!