A FORMER Captain in the Royal Navy has been elected as the new Mayor of Test Valley. 

Cllr Ian Jeffrey, a Conservative who represents the Mid Test ward, has taken on the role for the coming year.

He replaced Cllr Philip Lashbrook at the annual meeting of Test Valley Borough Council on Wednesday, May 22 at Crosfield Hall, Romsey.

Cllr Gordon Bailey had been Cllr Lashbrook's deputy mayor, but he has stepped aside due to family health reasons.

The new deputy mayor is former mayoress Cllr Linda Lashbrook.

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Andover Advertiser: Cllr Linda Lashbrook and Cllr Ian JeffreyCllr Jeffrey said: “I thank my fellow councillors for electing me, I won't disappoint you. I was born in Lancashire, grew up in Dorset and had a 37-year career in the Royal Navy, retiring as a Captain.

“I served on five ships and went to the wars in the Falklands and the Gulf. I served ashore in Germany, Italy, France and Belgium. Since retiring, I have been a borough councillor for nine years. I'm also the member champion for the Armed Forces. 

“I hope to meet as many citizens as I can and encourage businesses, arts and culture.”

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Councillors thanked the outgoing mayor Cllr Philip Lashbrook.

Cllr Carl Borg-Neal said: “Phil is a generous, intelligent and wonderful human being. He has done a wonderful job as mayor.”

Cllr Philip Lashbrook said: “The last year has been phenomenal. We have met so many volunteers who are true heroes. Test Valley is a beautiful part of England and we have been delighted to promote the area.

“The mayoralty is hard work but very worthwhile. We have raised £5,000 for the mayor's charities.”

Cllr Linda Lashbrook, the new deputy mayor, said: “My motivation to become mayor is my observations on what the mayoralty means to the public. It will be a huge honour to serve the council and our residents.”