A Preston councillor who has served for 18 years has stood down ahead of the local elections.Advertisement
Bhikhu Patel has represented the Riversway ward and was Mayor of Preston from 2005 to 2006.
He was the Mayor who granted the Freedom of the City to Andrew Flintoff.
Mr Patel: “When I came to Preston as a child I could not speak English but I worked hard and became part of the community. Many people from the ethnic minorities saw what was going on. For them, when I became Mayor, they thought they were becoming the Mayor too. It was special.”
Larches councillor Sam Gardiner has also stepped down, saying as he could not find work in Preston he was returning to his hometown of Nottingham.
Mr Gardiner has not attended any council meetings in 2015 and had a 65 per cent attendance rate since being elected in 2011.
Labour group leader councillor Peter Rankin said: “Sam was a breath of fresh air for Preston Labour Party and was a passionate campaigner for Larches ward.
“Bhikhu has been an excellent councillor and was a worth Mayor of Preston. Both Bhikhu and Sam will be greatly missed.”
Candidates for all 19 wards in Preston holding local elections have been announced.