Leighton Linslade's first out gay councillor celebrates win as rainbow flag adorns White House
The LGBT flag is hanging loud and proud as it adorns Leighton Linslade Town Council offices today (Monday) to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
Flying the flag was the idea of new town councillor Pat Carberry, who won St George’s ward for Labour on Thursday, May 6.
Irish-born Cllr Carberry spent 35 years as a firefighter at Leighton Buzzard Fire Station and has lived in the town since 1982.
He is also Leighton Linslade's first out gay town councillor.
Speaking to the LBO, he said: “Yes, I’m absolutely delighted to have been elected.
“I know that Leighton Buzzard is quite a Conservative town, so it’s a huge honour that voters have put their confidence in me .
“It’s a great place to live and it was my first time standing for the town council.”
Cllr Carberry has a wide range of experience in governance and served as a representative in the Fire Brigades Union for over two decades.
“I think a lot of our town councillors have been there for a long time, and so it’s good to have new members with fresh ideas,” said Cllr Carberry.
“People often forget that our town councillors aren’t paid, they do what they can for the good of the town and it’s a real public service.
“There is a lot going on with the development of Leighton Buzzard.
“We’re overstretched with new housing and not enough infrastructure – just moving about in traffic is a problem.
“But there are other positive changes. Our kids are a lot more accepting of diversity and I think we have a more cosmopolitan attitude.
“One of the first things I did when I was introduced to the town clerk was ask about IDAHOT.
“Most public buildings fly the rainbow flag on that day to show support and solidarity to the LGBT community across the world.
“It symbolises we’re a safe and welcoming town in Leighton Buzzard. I’m very happy we’ve been able to do that.”