Mayor of Lancaster reflects on 'formidable' year as he hands over reins to successor

The Mayor of Lancaster has reflected on his year in office as he hands over the role to his successor.

Coun Roger Dennison's work has taken him across the Lancaster and Morecambe district to community groups, schools, universities, charities, sports events, armed service ceremonies and also a poignant commemoration for the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers tragedy.

He gave a report at Lancaster City Council's latest full meeting and councillors gave him a round of applause. He said it had been 'a privilege to serve'. He highlighted events including a shield hanging ceremony for the new High Sheriff at Lancaster Castle. It was held on a warm day, made all the warmer with his full mayor's regalia.

He attended the retirement of Lord Shuttleworth as the Lord Lieutenant and his replacement with Amanda Parker. Moving on, Coun Dennison said: "It was an honour to be involved with the Armed Forces Week in June, culminating in the Morecambe event with the parade of cadets and veterans when I had the honour of being one of those receiving the salutes.


"School visits have been a joy. I've visited several primary schools including Warton, Morecambe Bay, Skerton St Luke's and Marsh to name a few. I also must express my admiration for all those involved with The Prince’s Trust. We have attended a number of events and their work to assist young people in future careers was inspiring."

In January, he visited Lancashire County Hall for a King’s Award for Voluntary Service ceremony. Four of eight awards went to Halton Gardening Group, Morecambe Girl’s Football Club, the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust and Morecambe's Neuro Drop-In Centre.

Another event was the International Youth Games with visitors from the twin towns of Rendsburg and Aalborg, and Lancaster's associate town of Almere. Youngsters competed at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre and Lancaster University.

Coun Dennison was in two traditional freeman courts. The annual court in the summer and one for two volunteer organisers of the youth games. He said: "It was the mayor and the city’s way of saying thank you, much appreciated."

He visited Whinny Hall Farm, which re-homes former race horses. and works with people with disabilities. He also visited both Lancaster and Cumbria universities for student graduation ceremonies. He added: "Lancaster University has nearly 2,000 students from China and has visits to the Confucius Institute. It was the Year of the Dragon with Chinese New Year celebration too were enjoyable.

On a sad note, he recalled: "This year was the 20th anniversary of the Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy when 23 people lost their lives. A moving ceremony was held at Morecambe lifeboat station, which was very well attended."

At armed forces events, he met HMS Lancaster officers on Remembrance Sunday and veteran organisations linked to Morecambe FC, The York pub and Bay Veterans

He thanked Jenny Kay, Chris Clifford and Deputy Mayor Martin Bottoms for their help. Finally he thanked his wife, Glenys, saying that without her support none of his work would be possible.

At the end of the council meeting, he said: "This is the last time I will be chairing these meetings as mayor. Thank you all, councillors and officers."

Councillors clapped and a woman in the public seats called out: "Thank you from the public. You've done a formidable job."

The current Deputy Mayor is Coun Martin Bottoms.