The borough’s new first citizen takes office

The new Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Billy Rotherham and his partner Miss Janet Lumley after the Mayor Making ceremony at Wigan Town Hall

The new Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Billy Rotherham and his partner Miss Janet Lumley after the Mayor Making ceremony at Wigan Town Hall

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IT was all change at Wigan Town Hall as the borough’s chains of office passed into new hands.

At the annual Mayor-Making ceremony, out-going borough first citizen Coun Myra Whiteside gracefully stepped aside for her successor, Coun Billy Rotherham.

The former Vice-Chairman of the Regulation and Licensing Committee was joined by Labour Party colleague Coun Phyll Cullen from Wigan West ward, who begins a year’s service as Deputy Mayor.

Coun Rotherham, who has represented the Worsley Mesnes ward since 1994, said: “I am very happy to be the new Mayor of Wigan borough; I’m very much looking forward to representing the people of Wigan.”

Part of the mayor’s role is to select a charity which he will raise money for throughout the campaign.

Coun Rotherham will be raise money for Heartbeat 2, a charity which enhances the recovery suite at Dr Naqvi’s Coronary Care Unit at Wigan Infirmary.

Coun Whiteside said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my term in office in this very special and busy year. I’ve been involved with the Olympic Torch celebrations, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and most recently the FA Cup celebrations.

The leader of the council, Lord Smith, congratulated Coun Rotherham on his new role and thanked the outgoing Mayor for her dedication throughout the year.

Coun Rotherham will lead the Civic Parade this Sunday, from The Hawk hotel in Carr Lane, Hawkley Hall, to St Jude’s Church, at 10am.