THE current Mayor of Bolton is set for an extra year in office after being praised for her ‘stalwart service’ during a year in office ‘unlike any before’.

Councillor Linda Thomas, who has served on Bolton Council, representing Halliwell since 1995, has had her duties severely affected since she took office in May.

Calls were made at a full council meeting this week for her tenure to be extended.

Councillor Sean Hornby, told councillors: “We accept that this municipal year has been one we will never forget, one that has brought many challenges and

continues to do so.

“Our current Mayor has done the town very proud.

“She has had to learn many things over the past few months from socially distanced engagements to the chairing of virtual council meetings of 60 members.

“I would ask that the council leader so see if it’s possible for her term to be extended for a further municipal year in order that when things start to return to normal she can have the mayoral year she quite rightly deserves after many years of loyal, active service to our town.”

Leader of the council, David Greenhalgh: “Of course is the answer.

“I have spoken formally to other leaders on this subject and they are in agreement.

“At the beginning of the year when I spoke to the Mayor about the challenges we were facing we were being optimistic then and talking about an

inauguration in October or November or just into the new year.

“It’s clear it would be completely unfair to say to councillor Thomas ‘that this is your year, that’s it’ and I am delighted to propose this.

“I’m sure we would get overwhelming support from every councillor.

“You are doing a stalwart job.

“It is only right and proper that you have a year when you take the limelight, take centre stage as Mayor, do what Mayors have done before and

go out an meet as many people as you can, promote the town, have an inauguration.

“Hopefully that year will be Covid free. Let’s hope and pray that’s the case.”

Councillor Thomas is a former leader of the council, becoming only the second woman to attain that role.

For 30 years she has been chair of Eatock Primary, Westhoughton and she has also been chair of Oxford Grove Primary, Halliwell for 25 years.

Her consort for her term is her husband Len, to whom she has been married for 49 years.