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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

Councillor Phil Crowe, the new Mayor of Preston for 2024/25

The Mayor of Preston for 2024/25 is Councillor Phil Crowe who is the 696th Mayor of Preston, a position which dates back to 1327.

You can follow the Mayor on Facebook - Mayor of Preston and X - Preston Mayor.

About Councillor Phil Crowe

Philip Hubert Matthew Crowe, was born in Mount Street hospital on the 31 December 1956, also known as St. Joseph's orphanage.

His mother was Theresa Angel Crowe (nee Hesketh) from Preston and father was Hubert Crowe who came from county Galway in the Republic of Ireland in 1949.

Attending St. Gregory's primary school, then St. Thomas More secondary school, followed by 12 months at Catholic college sixth form.

He joined the Territorial Army at the age of 17, followed by employment at British Aircraft Corporation on Strand Road on 26 August 1974 where he joined the planning department.

He moved to Warton in 1981 to the Planning and Jig and Tool development office, and then moved to the Stress office, (structural Engineering department) in 1989. For 25 years he was involved with the union on site, as a rep, then senior rep and on the Warton site committee.

In his last ten years at British Aerospace Philip was mainly involved with health and safety for the company and logistics and took voluntary redundancy in 2012.

He retired from BAE Systems, after 37 years and became a councillor in 2010, and has represented the people of Lea and Larches and Savick, to this day.

Philip has been on various committees including, Planning , Licensing, taxi and miscellaneous, Audit and environmental, and chair of the employment committee.

He has been a school governor at Sacred heart Catholic primary school for 35-years, and was a governor at St Andrews primary school for 9-years.

He is currently a governor at Royal Cross school for deaf children.

Following Philip's departure from aerospace he became bored, and decided to get involved with a charity called Furniture for Education Worldwide (FEW).

FEW collect school furniture no longer in use and hire 40 foot containers and ship the furniture to schools all over the world. So far FEW has sent 118 containers, costing £5,000 a time.

Phillip's current focus is on schools in The Gambia, where he attends two or three times a year.

Philip explains

"It's the best thing I have ever done, except for my two marriages, that have given me, a son Adam and a daughter Natalie, a step daughter Gemma, 5 grandchildren, Thomas, Emily, Fiontan, Clodagh, and Cillian. And a step granddaughter Evelyn."

Deputy Mayor of Preston

The Deputy Mayor of Preston is Councillor Sue Whittam.


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 his Majesty's royal prerogative.

Within the City of Preston, therefore, the Mayor must be given precedence over all except his Majesty the King, members of the Royal Family (i.e. Princes, Princesses, Dukes and Duchesses of the Blood Royal, styled "His Royal Highness") and His 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 Alder woman 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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