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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Mayor of West Lancashire says let’s celebrate the great things about West Lancashire

The new Mayor of West Lancashire wants to celebrate all that is great about West Lancashire during her year in office.

Councillor Nikki Hennessy was elected Mayor at West Lancashire Borough Council’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday 20 May and is really looking forward to her new role.

She said: “My theme will be celebrating all things West Lancashire, our people, towns, countryside, community groups, businesses and schools. West Lancashire has lovely people, very open and friendly, and I am really grateful to have this role of Mayor of West Lancashire.”

Councillor Hennessy, whose husband Paul will be her consort, worked in a number of posts before becoming a full time councillor.

She was the GP Referral Officer for West Lancashire Borough Council where she developed and delivered the ‘Life Matters’ scheme. Local GPs referred patients for exercise in WLBC fitness suites, the project is still being delivered today. In this role she also started the Nifty Fifties Clubs at Burscough Sports Centre and Banks Leisure Centre. Councillor Hennessy, in her role as GP Referral Officer, encouraged the groups to become independent clubs and they have now both been running for over 10 years. She also started the Health Walks and was instrumental on obtaining funding to deliver chair based exercise training to key staff in the Borough.

When Councillor Hennessy worked for West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Service she supported individuals and community groups to access Health services. She also started the West Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Network to enable health and wellbeing services to disseminate information to the community. She has also worked for Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust working in Public Health, leading on supporting the delivery of the NHS Health Checks. Her work has also included time in the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service as a community liaison officer.

Councillor Hennessy said: “Health and wellbeing are very important to me. I was able to apply what I learnt while studying for my degree at the University of Liverpool to help the patients who were referred to me while working for the WLBC and in other roles.”

In 2008 Councillor Hennessy was elected to West Lancashire Borough Council to represent Tanhouse, and she has served on Planning and Corporate and Environmental Overview and Scrutiny Committees. She sits on the West Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Partnership - supporting the Dementia actions and on the Ageing Well forum - were she is leading on inter generation projects.

At the 2015 elections she ‘retired’ from being a Tanhouse councillor and was elected for Knowsley ward.

The mother-of-three is also a Lancashire County Councillor. She is lead member for schools for that authority and sits on Health Scrutiny and other committees. She is a governor at Hillside Community Primary School in Tanhouse.

She added: “I love visiting different parts of the borough and meeting local people. I have enjoyed visiting schools in West Lancashire in my county council role and look forward to visiting ones I have not been to so far when I am Mayor.”

Councillor Hennessy is originally from Kirkby. She has three children, called Sophia, Brogan and Jacob, and two grandchildren Pearl, aged two, and Imogen, two months. Both Councillor Hennessy and her husband were members of the Territorial Army for more than 30 years.

Councillor Hennessy was a gamesmaker at the 2012 London Olympics and has run in the London Marathon.

Councillor Liz Savage is the new deputy Mayor, and her consort will be Councillor Noel Delaney. Councillor Savage has represented Ashurst on West Lancashire Borough Council for four years, during which time she has served as shadow portfolio holder for Transformation and Resources and been a member of the Executive Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

She said: “As someone who grew up in West Lancashire it is a real privilege to be able to serve the area in this role.”

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