WIGAN’s new Mayor donned her ermine robe and chain of office for the first time.
Coun Myra Whiteside took over the role as the borough’s first citizen from Coun Joy Birch, while Coun William Rotherham was made Deputy Mayor.
She was elected Mayor at the annual council meeting after being proposed by the leader of Wigan Council, Lord Smith, and seconded by Coun Susan Loudon. She will be assisted and supported in her role by her Consort John Hurst.
The new Mayor chose as her charity the Wigan and Leigh Pensioners’ Link, a local organisation which helps to promote active and independent lifestyles for older people, and says her aim is to raise enough money to buy outdoor gym facilities for Wigan.
She also faces a very busy first couple of months in the role, which sees her travel to London for the Queen’s garden party before leading the borough’s celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
She said: “I’m very honoured to have been chosen and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I intend to be very active meeting residents in the borough and supporting lots of different communities.
“I chose my charity because there’s a lot of elderly people living in the borough, and helping them is an issue very close to my heart.
“Wigan is very proud of this prestigious civic title and everyone who wears the robe is very proud to be able to do so.”
Coun Whiteside is the first woman from Leigh to become Mayor. It is also the first time in Wigan’s history that two women have succeeded each other as the borough’s figurehead.