Lancaster University

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Lancaster Graduate receives Knighthood

12/10/2003 16:28:51

Bill Taylor, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council received his Knighthood from the Prince of Wales in an investiture ceremony held at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 10th December.

Born in Leeds in 1952, Bill was brought up in Birmingham where he attended Sheldon Heath Comprehensive School. After developing an interest in Politics at an early age, Bill went on to gain a BA (Hons) in Politics, Education and Trade Union Studies here at Lancaster University in 1973, followed shortly after, in 1976 with an Advanced Certificate in Education, at Manchester Polytechnic. He returned to Lancaster to gain an MA in Education in 1985.

Sir Bill was given his knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours list, earlier this year, for services to local government over the past quarter of a century. Bill is a long standing figure on the political scene within Blackburn with Darwen. He has been a member of the Labour Party since 1974 and first stood as a ward councillor in 1979. After this, Bill successfully stood five times as the candidate for Cathedral ward in Blackburn, before being elected for the new unitary Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for the newly configured Audley Ward.

In 1989-90 Bill had the honour of serving as Mayor of the Borough and the year after he followed this with the role of Deputy Mayor. He became the Deputy Leader of the Council in 1994, a post he held until 2001 when he was appointed Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, a role he still holds. In 2003 the Council were awarded ‘excellent’ status by the Audit Commission.

Professionally, Bill has worked within the Youth and Community area of Local Government since leaving University. He currently holds the position of Youth and Community Services Manager with Lancashire Youth and Community Service in the Ribble Valley.

On receiving his award Bill said, “I am very proud to have received my knighthood at today’s investiture ceremony. My wife, family and I have had a fantastic day, and enjoyed every moment. As I have stated previously, I feel this honour is really an acknowledgement of the excellent work carried out by Members and staff at the Council on behalf of the people of Blackburn with Darwen”