Former pupil of Balshaw's Church of England High School Lorraine Norris has just become the Chief Executive at Preston Town Hall. In her 30s and with 2 young children, she was a social worker on a career break. As her son and daughter started school, she decided to go back to school and studied a law degree at Preston Polytechnic as it was called then. She went on to work as a childcare lawyer and in 2002 she joined Preston Council as director of corporate services.

Lorraine has stepped into the role after her predecessor retired and her biggest challenge will be to steer the 700m Tithebarn development plans in Preston. Day to day, the former Balshaw’s Grammar and Runshaw College student will lead a management team of four people and oversee 1600 staff. She says: “Overall what we are trying to do is raise the profile of Preston.”

“The two big challenges for Preston and the council are the economic regeneration – made even more of a challenge in the light of recession – and that we continue to have too many wards in Preston that are in the country’s worst 20% for deprivation.”

Out of work, Lorraine enjoys walking her dog and is planning to join the Leyland Methodist Church choir but says: “I’m not one of those people who’s an expert at anything – I do it because I enjoy it.”