St Helens new mayor has been announced ... Billinge councillor and retired social worker Joe Pearson.
Born and bred in Wrexham, North Wales, Coun Pearson is a qualified social worker and former regional manager for the National Care Standards Commission.
Hemoved to St Helens in 1968 to begin work as a social worker for Liverpool City Council.
His career in social work, spanning over a 35 year period, saw Councillor Pearson work for a number of other local authorities before joining the National Care Standards Commission in year 2002.
He retired from work in 2004.
Coun Pearson is married to wife, Sylvia, who will be at his side throughout his civic year as she takes on the role as Mayoress.
The couple have two children, Rachel and Christopher.
Elected to the council in 2007, Councillor Pearson sits on the governing committees at both Garswood Primary School and Billinge Chapel End Primary School – and given his vast experience in the field, has chaired the council’s Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Panel.
Coun Pearson said: “It’s a great honour to be named Mayor of St Helens and to represent the fine people of the borough.
“Sylvia and I are thoroughly looking forward to the next 12 months as we look to get out into the community to witness first-hand the fantastic work that goes on in our town for the benefit of others.”
For his Mayoral Charity in the year ahead, Councillor Pearson has chosen St Helens Mind - an independent, user focused service for local people who are experiencing isolation and distress due to mental ill health.
Commenting on his time as Mayor for 2016-17, outgoing Mayor, Councillor Dave Banks - who attended over 350 civic events over the past year, and has raised over £10,000 for St Helens-based bereavement charity Jenson’s Twinkle Stars - said: “All good things must come to an end, and that includes my year as Mayor of St Helens.
“The past 12 months have been the busiest, but best I’ve ever known – and the memories will live with me and my wife Jeanette for the rest of our lives.”
This year’s Mayor Making ceremony also saw Councillor Pat Ireland named Deputy Mayor for 2017-18.