A DEDICATED Rossendale councillor will be recognised for her 12 years of service next week.

Former mayor Joyce Thorne, 63, will be made an honorary alderman at the annual council meeting next Friday.

The grandmother-of-three, from Rising Bridge Road, Haslingden, will be honoured for the four years she spent as a Greenfield councillor from 1998 to 2002, and eight years for the neighbouring Worsley ward, from 2003 to 2011.

Rossendale’s Conservative group leader Coun Darryl Smith said Ms Thorne served ‘diligently’ on various committees, including planning.

The role is non-political, and includes taking part in civic events throughout the council calender.

Ms Thorne, who was mayor for the year 2009/10, said she never intended to get into politics and first stood as a councillor in 1998 after the Conservative group suggested it to her.

She said: “I went onto the committee at the old Haslingden Conservative Club in John Street.

“It was a huge building with high running costs, so we had to move to smaller premises.

“I got my hands dirty and helped move into the new club in Bank Street, and then I was asked to run, so I did and got elected.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it and worked hard.

“I really liked what you can individually as a councillor when someone comes to you with a problem and you can help them.”

During her time as a councillor, Ms Thorne was a receptionist at Haslingden Health Centre for 22 years, secretary of Haslingden and Helmshore Cancer Research group, She also volunteered at Rossendale Mencap Gateway Club every week, among other charity work. Ms Thorne is currently a governor at St Mary’s RC Primary School.

She said: “I was always a people person and like to help in whatever way I can.

“I feel very humbled and touched to have been chosen to be an honorary alderman, it’s a real privilege.”

The Conservative group nominated Ms Thorne for the role, and she was offered the ceremonial position by the Labour-run council.

Coun Smith said: “Joyce served her ward diligently for 12 years and did it extremely well.”