A NEW mayor of Test Valley has been elected at a meeting of the borough council.

Councillor Martin Hatley, of Ampfield and Braishfield ward, has has held the role of deputy mayor for the past 12 months, in which he supported former leader Ian Carr in his mayorship.

Cllr Hatley was nominated by Cllr Gordon Bailey, with his recommendation then seconded by Cllr Alan Dowden.

Cllr Hatley said: “I really do appreciate and value this great honour bestowed upon me and I would like to thank, most sincerely, councillors Bailey and Dowden for their kind words in support of my nomination.

“My wife, Jo and I, have thoroughly enjoyed the last year supporting Ian and Beryl Carr as their deputy mayor and mayoress and we treasure the warm welcome we have received everywhere.

“We are therefore really looking forward to the next even busier year.”

Cllr Hatley has chosen three charities to support through his mayoral year. They are The Boaz Project, which helps young adults with learning difficulties, cancer support charity Jane Scarth House and the Romsey Opportunity Group which encourages children with special needs to learn and socialise together.

Outgoing mayor, Ian Carr, is leaving the council having been the first councillor to serve as mayor on two separate occasions, following his duties in 1995/96. He also served as leader for 18 years and received an MBE for his services to local government last year.

Mr Carr said: “We have greatly enjoyed our mayoral year, not only going around Test Valley but also visiting the other boroughs and districts as well. We saw some amazingly dedicated people delivering services to others less fortunate and giving time and effort to ensure that all the clubs and societies that exist, can flourish.

“I would like to thank Martin for the very kind words. I would also like to thank the many councillors, officers and members of the public who have offered kind words regarding my retirement.”

Romsey Tadburn councillor Mark Cooper was elected as deputy mayor.