All change as former mayor quits Council

Garstang mayor Coun Chris Ryan is pictured  making a silent protest during the  royal visit
Garstang mayor Coun Chris Ryan is pictured making a silent protest during the royal visit
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Garstang’s former mayor has stepped down from the Town Council - after being overwhelmed by the calibre of candidates seeking to be coopted to become councillors.

The day after three vacancies were filled on the Council Coun Chris Ryan resigned - saying he wanted to make way for people who had the time to devote to the task.

It was after Joe Gilmour, Ray Hesketh and Leah Hynes were welcomed on to the Council at an extraordinary meeting, on July 27 that he made his decision.

Seven would be councillors who had offered themselves as candidates had been asked to make a private presentation to serving town councillors explaining what they would bring to the council.

The vacancies had arisen after Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins, current Wyre Mayor Coun Tom Balmain and Coun Mary Alston did not stand for reelection in May.

Chris, who has a new job as as a maintenance fitter at Global Renewables in Leyland, and served as mayor in 2013/14 said: “Resigning is a hard word - stepped down, moving aside. I’ve been struggling for quite some time to make it to meetings because of work and various other activities,”

He said he had often attended meetings prior to or after a 12 hour shift and this made it hard to focus: “It’s too the meetings I’m like a zombie.... It really brought it to a head when we had the meeting to coopt new councillors. I was thinking every one of them would do a better job than me. I thought I’m just taking up space for someone who could do it better. ..the town deserves better.”

He said there was now “so much going on” with the debate on planning and new housing and developments and the town needed someone who could really focus on this. But he was full of praise for the councillors he has left behind: “They’re a great team -they do have the best interests of Garstang at heart.” One of the most memorable events of his mayoral year was when he staged a one man silent protest outside a charity shop in Garstang after a royal snub when the Mayor of Wyre was invited to meet Princess Anne but Garstang’s first citizen was not.