THE Mayor of Darwen Town Council is to stand down from the role ‘to ‘give someone else a chance’.

Coun Paul Browne campaigned in favour of originally setting up the town council, despite his party, the LibDems, being against it.

Coun Browne, 70, said: “To be the first mayor of Darwen since 1973 made me feel proud as punch. As a Darrener, my first priority has been Darwen. I am a Darrener first and a politician second.”

He said he was pleased with the job he had done as mayor.

“Wherever I have gone, the people of Darwen have made me and my wife feel very welcome. Even when we have had other engagements in Blackburn, Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley, I have always been made to feel welcome as the first mayor of Darwen Town Council.”

Coun Browne, who is standing for re-election as a councillor next month, said although it was tough getting going, he believed the town council had worked.

He said: “I know at the beginning there was a lot of political movement going on and all the parties were falling out. But it all fell into place and we have finished up as one happy family.”

Coun Browne added: “I am so chuffed when people ask for the Darwen mayor. That was what I liked.

“It seems small, but it is so nice that they ask for me, rather than the borough mayor.”

During his time as a borough and town councillor, and as mayor, Coun Browne has had his devoted wife Ruth by his side.

Ruth, 66, said: “It has been really nice to be mayoress and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It has been a pleasure to serve the people of Darwen. I think Paul has done a wonderful job.”