THE new mayor for Blackburn with Darwen has been installed – with a promise to modernise the role for 2019/20.

Cllr Jim Shorrock has already made his mark – becoming the first mayor of the borough to be in a civil partnership.

Cllr Shorrock, 60, who represents Blackburn South East, will be joined by his partner Mark as mayoral consort, while friend Linda Mahon will undertake the duties of mayoress.

And his appointment as mayor for the year was welcomed in novel style - with a football club style announcement video of Cllr Shorrock arriving at Blackburn town hall and donning the mayoral robes.

Amongst his plans to raise money for his chosen charities throughout the year, the former publican, who was awarded a Fellowship of the British Institute of Innkeeping, is looking to create his own mayoral gin and host a motorbike and trike treasure hunt.

He said: "This is an incredibly proud moment for me.

"I’m just a working class lad at heart and I’ve had to battle against adversity my whole life. To be chosen to represent the borough as Mayor is a great honour and I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.

"I’m also keen to modernise the role during my time – you don’t see many 60-year-old motorbiking Mayors about!

The mayor, who was supported by friends and family at the ceremony, is often seen out and about the borough on his three-wheel trike.

He added: "I’ve worked in the pub trade throughout my life and I like to think it’s kept me young at heart.

"I want the mayoralty to be relevant to the 21st century and I’ll be looking to put my own touch on things.

"I’ve asked Blackburn Brass Band to perform Fanfare for the Common Man at the Cathedral on Sunday as part of the Civic Sunday Service; the same song that was played at our Civil Partnership.

"The choir has also kindly been practising Lord is it Mine by Super Tramp – it’s just my way of making things a little bit different."

The Mayor will be joined by dignitaries from across the area to parade from King George’s Hall, through Blackburn town centre and on to the Cathedral for the service at 11:15am ton Sunday. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Cllr Shorrock, an RAF veteran, will represent Blackburn with Darwen at events across the area throughout the year.

He will also use his time to raise vital funds for his four chosen charities, including Every Action has Consequences, Derian House Children’s Hospice, THOMAS and Youth Action.

His deputy mayor for the year will be Cllr Iftakhar Hussain who will be supported by deputy mayoresses, wife Sabiran Hussain and daughters Samiya Hussain and Khalsoom Hussain.

Cllr Hussain was first elected to the council in 2004 and has represented the Bastwell and Daisyfield ward for more than 15 years.