The new Mayor of Bury, Councillor Tim Pickstone, with his partner Wayne Burrows who will be the Mayor’s Consort.

Holyrood councillor Tim Pickstone is the new Mayor of Bury for the municipal year 2020/21.

Cllr Pickstone took over the chains of office from East ward councillor Trevor Holt at the annual meeting of Bury Council on Wednesday (20 May). This was the first time in the borough’s history that the annual meeting had been held as a virtual video conference, because of the social distancing rules brought in to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Cllr Pickstone was elected to Bury Council in 2000, representing Holyrood ward. For the last 16 years he has served as leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council. His partner Wayne Burrows will be the mayor’s consort.

Tim was born and brought up near Chorley, Lancashire and has lived in Prestwich all his adult life. His proud family association with the area dates back to c1670, with his great (7 times) grandparents Richard and Eleanor Pickstone buried in one of the oldest graves at Prestwich Parish Church. The Pickstone family have lived in the Prestwich, Whitefield and Radcliffe areas ever since.

Alongside being a councillor he is Chief Executive of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors, having previously worked as a manager in the charity sector. He is a governor of St Margaret’s CE Primary School in Prestwich.

Cllr Pickstone said: “This is a very great honour you have bestowed on me and I am very grateful. Wayne and I will do our very best to fulfil the duties of our new roles to everyone’s satisfaction, to serve the borough well and show that we are worthy of the confidence and the trust you have placed in us.”

The mayor has chosen Bury Samaritans to benefit from the Mayoral Charity Appeal, and will also support the work of George House Trust, Greater Manchester’s HIV charity.

“Over the next year we want to particularly celebrate the important work undertaken by volunteers right across the borough,” he said. “Both the Samaritans and George House Trust are excellent examples of charities which have volunteering at the heart of what they do. Bury Samaritans support people through some very tough times, and we will do what we can to support the work they do, as well as through the Mayoral Charity Appeal.”

Councillors also voted to install Cllr Holt as deputy mayor for the coming year, and his wife Evelyn will be deputy mayoress.

Cllr Holt said: “Evelyn and I have had a lovely year as Mayor and Mayoress. We have visited many organisations, community groups and schools; we have also received a large number of visitors to the Mayor’s Parlour, including employees of Bury Council, church groups, youth groups, beavers, cubs and brownies. We have also had visitors from several different countries, including Costa Rica, Ukraine, and from our German twin town of Schorndorf.

“Our borough is rich in diversity, goodwill, community spirit and selfless dedication to helping fellow citizens. This has been evident during the current difficult time due to the coronavirus. The manner in which our borough has responded to the challenges presented by Covid-19 has made us very proud to have been Bury’s ‘first citizens’ for the past 12 months. We have many fond memories and it is truly a year we will never forget.”