Preston appoints Brown as leader

In the latest change at the top of Preston City Council, Matthew Brown has been appointed as leader of the council in place of Peter Rankin, who has retired from his role.

Cllr Brown has been councillor since 2002 and a member of the cabinet since 2011, initially as cabinet member for community engagement and inclusion, and more recently as member for social justice, inclusion, and policy initiatives.

Brown, who also works part time for progressive thinktank The Democracy Collaborative, has also sat on the city’s planning committee.

His appointment was signed off at a council meeting on 17 May, and Brown said: “I am honoured to be given this opportunity and am looking forward to working collaboratively with the voluntary sector, local businesses, the wider community and trade unions to really make a difference in Preston especially in our desire to tackle inequality.

“I am committed to delivering the Preston Labour Party’s manifesto and achieving the council’s priorities for the city and will always put people first.”

Brown’s appointment marks a period of change for Preston City Council. Chief executive Lorraine Norris is retiring this week after nearly nine years in the role, and is being replaced by director of environment Adrian Phillips on an interim basis.

Council leader Peter Rankin has retired after standing down last year following surgery on a brain tumour.

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