NEWLY elected councillors for Chippenham Town Council met for the first time since the local election last night to elect the town's mayor and deputy mayor for the year ahead.

Conservative Councillor Mary Norton was unanimously elected as the town's mayor at the full town council meeting held at the Town Hall on Wednesday (May 17) night after she spent the last year working diligently as Councillor Terry Gibson's deputy.

"It is a great honour to be elected as mayor," Coun Norton said. "I would like to congratulate all the new councillors who have taken on officer and also the new deputy mayor and I am sure we will all work happily together to make sure we continue the good work and do our best to represent the people who put their confidence in us.

"I would also like to thank the outgoing mayor Terry Gibson for his year in office."

Although there were two nominees for the position of deputy mayor, Conservative councillor Andy Phillips was elected after Independent Coun Sandie Webb withdrew her nomination for her colleague Coun Raj Gill.

"Last week we had a training day and Councillor Gill spoke to Councillor Phillips and they both noted that it was going to be a very tough year," Coun Webb explained to the council. "Councillor Gill decided very gallantly that Councillor Phillip's experience would be for the good of Chippenham - and I hope all councillors will act for the good of Chippenham - so therefore I withdraw my nomination."

After accepting his Chain of Office, Coun Phillips said: "I would just like to say a big thank you to Councillor Gill for her decision. I know it was not easy but we had quite a talk about what was going to happen this year and I think perhaps with another year of experience, she will make a very good deputy mayor and an even better mayor."

The mayor will formally take her position at the mayor's investiture at 7pm at the Town Hall on May 24.