Businessman and charity chief to run for mayor of Middlesbrough if public vote to retain post (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Businessman and charity chief to run for mayor of Middlesbrough if public vote to retain post
THE first person to publicly throw his hat into the ring as a candidate for elected Mayor of Middlesbrough - if the post remains following a referendum - is local businessman Andy Preston.
The 47-year-old, who also heads up a local charity, has declared his intention to stand ahead of next month’s (September) public vote on the future of the post.
He said: “I am passionate about Middlesbrough and its people, and I believe the person who leads the town should be elected directly by local people and accountable to them.
“I believe this is far more democratic than a system in which a leader is elected by a handful of councillors and answerable to a London-based political party.”
Mr Preston, who is married with two young children, was born and raised in Middlesbrough.
After leaving school he joined the Royal Air Force before studying at Edinburgh University and later trained as a city trader, leading to a highly successful 15-year career managing multi-billion pound international businesses.
He now operates a number of business activities from his Middlesbrough offices and spends much of his time running the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
The businessman set up the charity two years ago to create local apprenticeships and assist the disadvantaged across Teesside. With the support of numerous local businesses and individuals, the Foundation has since raised nearly £500,000 for Teesside community causes.
Mr Preston added: “I have decided to go public now so people know that, if they vote for an elected Mayor system in the referendum, there will be an independent alternative to the traditional Town Hall political parties.
“As mayor, I steadfastly believe I could make a real and tangible difference for Middlesbrough. First, however, the people of the town must decide if an elected Mayor is what they want.”
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