A COUNCILLOR who was once an opponent of a mayoral role has been elected to the position.

At Andover Town Council’s annual meeting on Thursday last week, Councillor Richard Rowles, leader of Andover Alliance, was nominated by Councillor Victoria Thorpe, with her recommendation then seconded by Councillor Christopher Ecclestone.

Speaking at the meeting at Rendezvous, in Union Street, Cllr Rowles said: “I would like to offer my thanks for the trust that has been bestowed upon me in electing me mayor. I’d like to take this opportunity to offer heartfelt thanks to the ongoing councillors for their service for our community.

“As some of you may know, in the past that I have not been a massive proponent of having a mayor. That was on the basis that I believe all people are born equal, however over the last few years I have come to see the work executed by previous mayors and I am excited to be able to offer our town the same and hopefully even more pride and help via this position.

“Over the next four years I hope we will see our town benefit from a number of changes to our organisation that will make it more efficient, inclusive, transparent and offer better value for money by doing more.

“Make no mistake the work we have to undertake is very significant indeed, our town faces huge issues some of which our town council is not able to address or to address on its own. Wherever we can we will discharge our duties in the best tradition in the power vested in us and work with councillors, councils and any organisations to help improve our town.

“So let us represent the people that have elected us with pride and dignity and most importantly of all let’s get the job done.”

Outgoing mayor, Barbara Long, was thanked for her work by former deputy mayor Michael Mumford, and in turn Mrs Long thanked the outgoing members. She said: “Thank you for electing me as your chairman last year, I felt very proud and humbled by that election 12 months ago.

“Little did I know what a rollercoaster of a year it would be, two weeks after I was elected I was diagnosed with cancer.

“Without your support I would not have been able to do the job. I hope I’ve done you proud.”

Mrs Long added she was proud to represent the council at a number of events, civic functions and openings of local business opening.

“As mayor I did not set out to raise money but raise awareness of the amazing things that happen in Andover , we do not shout loud enough about what a great place Andover is.”

Cllr Long also thanked the town council staff who helped her in her time in the position.

Councillor Lauren Banville was elected as deputy mayor for the year.