THE new Mayor of Whitchurch has promised to do his best for the people of the town.

Councillor Mike Kean accepted the top role on Monday night, taking over from outgoing mayor John Clark.

Before passing over the mayoral robes and chain, Cllr Clark said: “This has been a busy and, at times, difficult year for the town council and myself.”

He referred to the resignation of four councillors during his year in office, and the death of Cllr Peter Williams in April.

Cllr Kean, said he was “privileged” to have been selected by his fellow councillors for the role of mayor.

He described Cllr Clark as a “stalwart of the town council” and thanked him for his support, adding: “During my year I'll endeavour to serve the town council and the residents of Whitchurch with all the energy, enthusiasm and commitment I can muster.”

The 65-year-old father-of-two and grandfather-of-three has retired from a top job as head of communications for the Highways Agency, giving him time to dedicate the next year to his duties as mayor.

He told councillors: “We have had a difficult year in a number of ways and I think we now need a period of stability, getting back to basics as to why we are here, what we do and explain and inform the people of Whitchurch the role the town council has to play.”

Cllr Kean, who lives off Newbury Road, will be joined by his wife, Jan, as mayoress.

He added: “I promise I will do my very best for the people of Whitchurch.”