Published Friday 21 May 2021 at 9:47
Former football referee Councillor Derek Hardman has been officially installed as the new Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen.
Cllr Hardman, who represents Livesey with Pleasington, will be joined by wife Colette as Mayoress, and supported by triplets Ella, Abigail and Owen who will proudly undertake consort duties during his time in office.
He and his family are all involved with the Scouting and Girlguiding movements as well as various community projects. They plan to work together as a family to support the borough and raise money for four local charities over the next 12 months.
The former Scout Leader, who was awarded the wood badge in scouting, the top honour for leaders, explained that he is looking forward to meeting the people from different communities within the borough and making a difference to any issues they face.
He said: “As a ward councillor you look after issues within your own ward but I am looking forward to meeting the diverse community within Blackburn with Darwen. I will learn more about projects the residents are involved in and attend events to support them and help to make a difference.”
Cllr Hardman, a former engineer who now works in procurement at Brammer, located at BAE Systems, had a low-key Mayor Making ceremony at King George’s Hall due to Coronavirus.
It is hoped a more formal event with family and friends can be enjoyed in the summer as restrictions ease.
Cllr Hardman will use his time to raise vital funds for his four chosen charities which are East Lancashire Scouts, Girlguiding Lancashire East, Derian House and East Lancashire Hospice.
He said: “All the charities we have chosen are based around helping people. We know the Scouting and Girlguiding charities help children to grow into strong and caring adults and these movements teach children lots of skills and will raise their self-esteem. Derian House and East Lancashire Hospice care for loved ones and support their families throughout a difficult period of time.”
Cllr Hardman was first elected to the Council in 2001 and has represented the same ward for 20 years. He and his wife, who is a primary school teaching assistant, are also members of the Livesey Parish Council, and Cllr Hardman is also a governor for two local schools and the family are active members of the local churches.
During his year in office, his deputy will be Cllr Suleman Khonat.
If you or your organisation require any further information about the charities or if you can offer fund raising assistance, please contact The Mayor’s Office on 01254 585 229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org