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news_6 Vote for “The Glory of Middlesbrough”, says Mayor hopeful
September 19, 2013

PROSPECTIVE mayoral candidate Andy Preston believes the future “glory of Middlesbrough” is at stake at the forthcoming mayoral referendum.

The local business and charity leader has promised to stand for mayor when Ray Mallon steps down in 2015 if the people of Middlesbrough vote to retain the mayor’s role in the referendum next Thursday, September 26.

Middlesbrough-born Mr Preston, who runs business and charity activities in the town, is now campaigning hard to encourage a ‘Yes’ vote.

He said: “It would be a privilege to be mayor for my hometown. But regardless of whether or not it is me, I steadfastly believe we need a strong leader who is independent of the political parties and can therefore put Middlesbrough first with every decision.

“Working for the glory of Middlesbrough should be the first and only concern of whoever provides the future direction for the town, not individuals whose loyalties lie with the London-based political parties.”

Mr Preston, who was previously a highly-successful hedge fund manager, insisted: “Middlesbrough can be great again.

“The government cuts and the global recession have created an incredibly tough environment for the council and mayor to operate within.

“The economic situation certainly makes the task harder, but restoring the glory of Middlesbrough is 100% achievable and it’s in our hands to make it happen.

“We already have a truly thriving digital sector and a university that continues to go from strength to strength, while I’m a huge fan of Middlesbrough College, which is achieving wonderful results, is part of the community and continues to grow year-on-year.

“The most important thing is to galvanise ideas and raise investment. There isn’t going to be any central government funds available and local councils aren’t going to have money.

“So we need a leader who knows how support, encourage and inspire local entrepreneurs to create wealth and jobs for Middlesbrough, from which we’ll all benefit.

“If we can do that and find new ways of attracting in outside money, then Middlesbrough’s future can be very bright indeed.

“Unfortunately, while there are some very good people among them, I don’t think the councillors have the knowledge, skills or experience to make that happen. That is where a mayor comes in.”

The mayoral referendum takes place on Thursday, September 26. Middlesbrough residents aged 18 or over on the day of the referendum can vote for whether they wish to retain the present system of a mayor elected by the people of the town or a council leader elected by a vote of the councillors.

Photograph of Andy Preston
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"I believe in Middlesbrough. Together we can make amazing things happen."
- Andy Preston charity leader, businessman, Middlesbrough mayoral candidate
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Published by Andy Preston, Boho 4 Gibson House, Cleveland Street, Middlesbrough, TS2 1AE