Councillor Kevin Hamilton, aged 60, is the mayor of Barrow and has represented the town on Cumbria County Council for 26 years.

Born in Ormsgill and one of five brothers, the father-of-two is a former council bin man, GMB union convenor and taxi driver, growing up in Jarrow Street, Vulcan Road and Longway. A keen Liverpool FC fan, he has four grand-children and is serving his second term on Barrow Borough Council.

Favourite teacher: Mr Tunn. We had him for PE at St Aloysius where I went from 1971-75. I wasn’t very academic at school and he was good fun. You could have a laugh and a joke with him.

Life motto: Yesterday was history, tomorrow’s a mystery and today is a present. I got it off my dad James. Both my parents were dead by the time I was 18 and I became the legal guardian to my brother when he was only 12.

Earliest memory: Emptying the bucket at the top of stairs in Jarrow Street! I was 18 before I discovered outside toilets!

Favourite music: Stevie Wonder. How he can put into words what he can’t see is absolutely unbelievable. He has more vision than me and he is blind. His song Happy Birthday about Martin Luther King helped the campaign to make Martin Luther King Day a national holiday in America.

Favourite film: A Man For All Seasons (1966) starring Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More, Robert Shaw as Henry VIII Leon McKern and Wendy Hiller.

Political hero: It has to be Clement Atlee (Labour Prime Minister between 1945-51). For all the things he achieved in six years. But what a fantastic cabinet he had with Nye Bevan and Harold Wilson, it was a real team. It brought the NHS, free compulsory education and nationalised coal mines.

Political villain: Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher. She sold off nearly everything we owned. It was soul-destroying. What she brought in was compulsory competitive tendering where we had to tender for our own jobs – not on best value, like now, but on the lowest price. In 1946 Barrow Corporation had 717 painters and when I left, we were down to three.

A modern trait you dislike: Using social media instead of talking. I prefer to talk to people. I haven’t even got a landline in my house.

A modern trait you like: I went to an awards night at Walney School and Furness Academy and two students were speaking fluent French and two were translating. Young people around here get stigmatised with anti-social behaviour but we have some very good kids and a very good future.

What you most love about Barrow: The community. People from away can’t believe how friendly we are and we take it for granted. We make the n

What you dislike most about Barrow: Being seen as the capital for drug deaths and the unfair stigma and reputation it has got.

A typical Christmas Day: Going to see the grandchildren Alfie, Ruby, Milo and Harry.

Favourite Christmas song: (Reluctantly) I suppose it would have to be White Christmas by Bing Crosby. We last had a White Christmas in Barrow in 2010-11.

Worst Christmas song: The Pogues with Kirsty McColl, Fairytale of New York. It hardly mentions Christmas and it’s depressing.

Favourite Christmas song: Cllr Hamilton cannot think of one but after seeking advice from a female friend, he settles on A Christmas Holiday starring Cameron Diaz and Jude Law.