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The Mayor of Preston

The Mayor

The Mayor of Preston background

The tradition of having a Mayor of Preston dates back to the middle ages when the City's first Charter (a document bestowing certain rights on a town) was granted by Henry II in 1179.

The Mayor of Preston acts as the City's first citizen, which means they speak on behalf of the City and are an important part of its identity. They also represent local people at civic and ceremonial events.

Nowadays, the Mayor has to be a Preston City Councillor, meaning that local people have voted for them to represent their communities. Once chosen, they become Deputy Mayor for a year, before stepping up at the following Annual Council and serve as the Mayor for a year.

For more information visit our background to the Mayor of Preston page, along with a list of past Mayors.

The current Mayor of Preston

The Mayor of Preston for 2020/21 is Councillor Javed Iqbal who is the 693rd Mayor of Preston, a position which dates back to 1327.

You can follow the Mayor on Facebook and Twitter.

Councillor Javed Iqbal

Javed was born in the city of Jhelum, in the Punjab province, Pakistan.

He came to the United Kingdom in April 1968 to join his father, who was already residing here. He attended the local Brockholes School and completed his further education at the Sixth Form College on Moor Park Avenue.

He is the second eldest of five siblings. He married his wife, Tahira, in 1974 and purchased their family home on Ribbleton Avenue the following year. They have lived here ever since and have enjoyed many happy memories over the years with their four children and, more recently, their six grandchildren.

Javed's first full time job was with MGD Graphics, better known as GOSS, in their cost office. He later secured employment with Royal Mail in 1975 in their Delivery Services and remained with them for the next thirty years, taking up a role in Operational Management.

Whilst working at Royal Mail, Javed joined the Royal Engineers of the Territorial Army volunteers in 1979.

He served his country around the world including Germany, Cyprus and at home in the UK. He achieved the rank of Sergeant and served until 1992 when he left to focus on family commitments.

In 1995, Javed was encouraged to join the Preston Magistrates Bench. He did so and continues to sit to this day, now serving as the Presiding Justice in Lancashire family courts.

Javed retired from Royal Mail in March 2007 and was elected as Councillor for St. Matthew's Ward in May of the same year.

Despite never having the opportunity to attend university himself, Javed was keen to ensure that all his children had the option to do so if they wished. They successfully obtained their degree qualifications and all now enjoy their own successes in their respective careers.

Throughout his life, Javed has been heavily involved in local voluntary and community bodies. His focus has always been to make a positive difference to the community in which he lives, providing a voice to those who might otherwise go unheard. 

Javed's passions in life are his family and the community in which he lives. He can often be found pottering around in the garden in his spare time.

Deputy Mayor of Preston

The Deputy Mayor of Preston is Councillor Neil Darby.


Section 3(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 specifically provides that the Mayor shall have precedence in the district, but not so as prejudicially to affect Her Majesty's royal prerogative.

Within the City of Preston, therefore, the Mayor must be given precedence over all except Her Majesty the Queen, members of the Royal Family (i.e. Princes, Princesses, Dukes and Duchesses of the Blood Royal, styled "His (Her) Royal Highness") and Her Majesty's representatives when acting in their official capacities and directly representing the Crown (viz. Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Lancashire, and, in certain circumstances, the High Sheriff for the County of Lancashire).

Accordingly, the place reserved for the Mayor must be on the immediate right of the Chairman or other person presiding at any occasion except when one of the persons to whom the Mayor yields precedence is present.

The Mayor is normally attended by an Officer from whom advice on matters of protocol may be sought.

What is the correct way of addressing the Mayor?

If you are introducing the Mayor it is "The right Worshipful the Mayor of Preston" and if you are addressing the Mayor it is "Mr Mayor".  

If the Mayor's partner is a woman, she is known as the Mayoress. If the Mayor's partner is a man, he is called the Mayor's Consort.

Will the Mayor attend my event or function?

The Mayor's ceremonial role is to represent the city at annual events such as the Remembrance Day service and Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as high-profile engagements.

The Mayor's diary includes more than 500 appointments throughout the year and is organised by the council's Mayoral Officer.

To invite the Mayor to a function please complete our Invite the Mayor online form and a member of the team will be in touch. 

Invite the Mayor to your event

The Mayoral chains

When attending official appointments, the Mayor wears the Mayoral chains which were designed by Alfred Gilbert A.R.A and under went various modifications from the original model and was finally presented to the then Mayor, James Burrow, on 3 November, 1888.

The mayoral chains and badge are an important tradition, having been commissioned to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 at a cost of £800.

The Civic Regalia, which includes the mayoral robes and chains, precede the Mayor on formal Civic occasions such as the Judges Service.  

See our Civic regalia section for more information on Preston's long and distinguished history regarding the insignia.

Honorary Freemen / Honorary Freewoman

To be granted the title of Honorary Freeman / Honorary Freewoman is a mark of distinction upon the person whom the Council wishes to honour. The Freedom itself carries no privilege and is purely an honour, reflecting the eminence of the person on whom it is conferred or as recognition of significant and valuable services rendered to the borough by that person.

The ceremony for the admitting of an Honorary Freeman is a very formal occasion, with the act providing a special meeting of the Council. This must be convened with the specific object of passing the resolution to Honorary Freedom - one of the highest honours that the Council of a City or Borough can bestow.

The resolution should be passed by not less than two thirds of the members present.

The procedure should be carried out with the utmost formality and the Honorary Freeman / Honorary Freewoman Elect is invited to the Council Meeting and placed on the right hand of the Mayor.

For a list of Freeman / Freewoman of Preston and more information please see our Honorary Freemen/ Freewoman page.

Honorary Aldermen of the City

Essentially, the offer of appointment to Honorary Alderman / Honorary Alderwoman may only be considered in respect of former Members having a minimum of 15 years service. Any former Member who qualifies will then be considered by the Honours Task Group established to consider whether that person meets the criteria.

Aldermen constituted one-quarter of a Council except in the Greater London Council and the London Boroughs where the proportion was one-sixth.

For information on the Honorary Alderman / Honorary Alderwoman and a full list of former members of the Council please see our Honorary Aldermen of the City of Preston page.

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