ONE councillor is looking forward to going back to the classroom – as the new Mayor of South Ribble.

Former teacher, Councillor Linda Woollard has been officially installed as the borough’s first citizen at a special meeting of the Council.

The Penwortham grandmother’s family, friends and fellow councillors proudly watched on as she received the iconic robes and chain from retiring Mayor, councillor Mary Green.

Speaking about her new role, Councillor Woollard said: "I am extremely proud and humbled to be asked to become the Mayor of South Ribble.

"It is a very important duty and I am really looking forward to representing the borough over the course of the next year.

"As a retired teacher, one of the things I will enjoy most is going into schools and meeting all of the young children.

"I’m also looking forward to visiting the many charities across South Ribble and seeing first-hand the exceptional work that volunteers are doing day in, day out."

Councillor Woollard has represented the Broad Oak ward since May 2007.

She will be joined by her husband of 48 years, Alistair as her consort.

With a background in art, one of her favourite tasks as Deputy Mayor was judging an art exhibition in Longton.

She added: "Councillor Mary Green has been a terrific Mayor and will be an extremely hard act to follow.

"She is very thoughtful, kind and she has so much energy – she is a remarkable lady and an inspiration.

"I have really enjoyed spending the past year as her deputy and I’m sure it’ll stand me in good stead for the next 12 months and the many engagements I can look forward to."

And, the mother-of-four’s first official function will be on Friday when she will welcome dignitaries to the Civic Centre for the Mayor’s Banquet.

Throughout the year she will also hold fundraising events to raise vital funds for her three chosen charities - Galloway’s Society for the Blind, St Catherine’s Hospice and Heartbeat.

Councillor Woollard will be supported throughout the year by her Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mick Titherington and his wife Carole, Deputy Mayoress.

He has clocked up more than a decade of service on the council and represents the Broadfield ward.