A YEAR-long fundraising drive saw Burnley’s former mayor raise more than £16,000 for Lancashire’s flying doctors.

During his municipal year Coun Frank Cant pulled in donations totalling £16,280 for the North West Air Ambulance, which has two helicopters which fly to people with life-threatening injuries or illnesses and to places road ambulances cannot reach.

Aerospace engineer Coun Cant handed over the chains to Coun Andy Tatchell at Burnley Town Hall last week.

In his leaving speech, former Burnley Grammar School pupil and RAF recruit Coun Cant said: “The mayoress and myself would like to thank everyone involved in the fundraising activities during our year.

“All funds will be going to the North West Air Ambulance and up to date the figure is £16,280 and we will be handing over the monies next month.

“This is a brilliant effort by you all, especially when we have been in competition with many other charitable events.”

While fundraising over the past 12 months, Coun Cant and his mayoress, wife Gillian, attended royal visits, charity balls, theatre performances, opening ceremonies, football matches and more.

In his acceptance speech at the civic ceremony, Coun Tatchell told the audience of family, friends, fellow councillors and other guests: “I look forward to humbly and energetically serving the people of Burnley as mayor for the forthcoming year, and commit to working as hard as I can as an enthusiastic ambassador on Burnley's behalf.”

The new mayor and mayoress have chosen to support Manchester’s Christie Hospital, homeless charity Emmaus and Pendleside Hospice as their charities.