A Morecambe councillor has taken up her year in office as the new chairman of Lancashire County Council.
County Coun Janice Hanson, who represents the Morecambe West division, was appointed at Thursday’s annual meeting of full council.
A county councillor since 2005, Coun Hanson has also been on Lancaster City Council since 1995, representing the Harbour ward.
Coun Hanson was born in Fauldhouse in West Lothian, Scotland and lived there until she was 11. The family then moved to Dartmoor, as Coun Hanson’s father, a prison officer, had accepted a job at Dartmoor Prison.
After attending Tavistock School in Devon, the family then moved to Lancaster. Coun Hanson continued her education and got her first taste of the north of England.
Studies completed, Janice returned to Scotland to train as a nurse. After gaining her nursing qualifications, she then worked in a hospital for three years. A change of career brought Coun Hanson back to Lancashire and she retrained for a new role as a dispenser, working at a busy chemist’s shop in Lancaster.
As well as working at the chemist’s, Coun Hanson acted on her lifelong interest in politics and became a Lancaster city councillor. She continued with both roles for many years, before giving up her job at the chemist’s after being elected to Lancashire County Council, and also representing her local area on Morecambe Town Council.
During her year as chairman, Coun Hanson is particularly keen to highlight the important role of volunteers, and the value of giving something back to the community.
She said: “I know from experience how important volunteering is. Volunteers work incredibly hard to help people and groups, for the benefit of people in Lancashire.
“I particularly want to raise awareness of the superb work that volunteers do for the various ‘friends’ groups we have in Lancashire. “There are many different people volunteering to help various groups. I’m particularly keen as chairman to recognise and celebrate this good work.”
Coun Hanson lives in Morecambe with her husband John. She has one son, one stepdaughter and two grandchildren.
In her spare time, Janice enjoys gardening, films, reading and visiting new places. She said: “There are many hidden gems in the area, including the area I live in. There’s so much beautiful countryside around and I love to get out and enjoy it as much as I can.”
The county council’s new vice chairman will be Terry Aldridge, who represents Skelmersdale Central. He has been a member of the county council since 2005.
Coun Hanson added: “Over the past year I’ve worked alongside Margaret Brindle, who was an excellent Chairman. On behalf of Lancashire I’d like to thank her for her work and I’m looking forward to representing this great county over the next twelve months.
“I would like to welcome Terry as my vice chairman for the next year. I’m looking forward to working with him.”