Blackburn with domestic violence champion Darwen stepping down from council

CHAMPION for children and survivors of domestic violence steps down as advisor after 20 years in politics

Cllr Pat McFall, 79, will not contest his ward Little Harwood with Whitebirk in the upcoming Blackburn local election with Darwen on May 5.

She was first elected in May 2002 but was not re-elected in June 2004, returning to her council seat two years later and holding it ever since.

Cllr McFall joins Borough Leader Cllr Mohammed Khan and former Head of Children’s Services Cllr Maureen Bateson to announce his retirement from Blackburn with Darwen Council.

A fourth Labor Councilor, Roe Lee Ward Councilor Ron Whittle, who chairs the authority’s audit and governance committee, is also stepping down.

Cllr McFall, a former sales assistant at a DIY store, was borough mayor in 2018/19 when she hosted a pioneer remembrance concert at King George’s Hall marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Born in Appleby in Westmorland, she came to Blackburn in 1988 and was a Deputy Executive Member of Children’s Services and set up and chaired Blackburn with Darwen Domestic Violence Council.

Cllr McFall, who now lives in Darwen, said: “I really enjoyed being a councillor. It was brilliant.

“Now I’m ready to let go of the responsibility. It’s time for someone else to take over.

“The highlight of my time as an advisor was the 2018 Remembrance Concert.

“I loved being mayor. I’ve always loved being the center of attention, so that suited me just fine.

“As a domestic violence survivor, I thought it was important to set up the domestic violence counseling because I knew what was missing.

“It was also very rewarding to work for many years with Maureen Bateson on children’s services.”

Cllr McFall – who has two sons and two daughters, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren – said: “I work in a few charity shops so I will continue to do that and see what comes next.

“I will miss the camaraderie of my fellow Labor councilors and locals in my neighborhood.”

The Borough’s Education and Children’s Services patron, Cllr Julie Gunn, said: “Pat is a very strong woman. She was a huge supporter of children and did a lot to fight domestic violence. and raise awareness.”

Cllr Phil Riley, Deputy Head of Council and fellow Roe Lee of Cllr Whittle, said: ‘Ron was a good ward councilor and people will thank him for his contribution.

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