a SINGLE vote cost town councillor Simon Entwistle the opportunity to be this year’s Mayor of Clitheroe.
As Deputy Mayor for the past year, Mr Entwistle was almost certain to be elected Mayor for the coming year at a meeting on Friday evening, taking over the role from Coun. Alan Yearing.
But first he had to keep his seat in the town’s St Mary’s Ward in last Thursday’s town and parish council elections. As the votes were counted in the early hours of Friday, it became increasingly clear it would be a close run thing, but after a tense recount it was bad news for Mr Entwistle.
The final tally showed he had polled 498 votes, one short of the 499 polled by Clitheroe businessman Kevin Horkin, standing locally for the first time.
That meant Mr Entwistle lost his seat on the town council and with it the chance to become Mayor of Clitheroe. Instead Friday’s meeting saw Coun. Susan Knox elected Mayor, with Coun. Alan Yearing as her deputy, both taking up their roles at the town council’s Mayor Making ceremony on Tuesday.
“It would have been lovely to be made Mayor of Clitheroe on Tuesday and my wife would have made a fantastic Mayoress,” said Mr Entwistle. “I love the town of Clitheroe and it would have been a great, great honour to be town mayor, but that’s politics.
“I’d like to congratulate Mr Horkin and wish him all the best.”
Millionaire businessman Mr Horkin, the founder of Spex Opticians and who also ran a pet agency, used to be a councillor in Hyndburn for seven years in the late 1980s to 1990s, although this will be the first time he will serve on Clitheroe Town Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council.
“The Government keeps going on about the wider big society and although I already do some charity work for the Community Foundation, I thought town centres and politics in general need as much help as possible from local people. I thought it’s about time to assist in whatever way I can,” Mr Horkin explained.
“I felt very sorry for Simon missing out by just one vote as he was the mayor elect, so that is regrettable, but that’s local democracy and how it works,” he added.
“I’ve been out of local politics for some time so will be listening intently, learning on the job and doing whatever I can for the residents of the St Mary’s ward and the borough as a whole. We’re living through difficult times and I’ll do whatever I can to assist the local economy.”