NEW Devizes Mayor Roger Giraud-Saunders, who only moved to the area nine years ago, is determined to help put his adopted home on the map.

Mr Giraud-Saunders, 65, of Parkfields, Devizes, said: "I think it is a wonderful place and I am very proud to become Mayor of Devizes.

"The town has got a lot going for it and is very welcoming. I am keen to get people to come and visit and to promote the town."

He has chosen three very different Devizes charities as his chosen causes. Devizes Budo Club, Drews Pond Wood and Devizes Almshouses will all benefit from mayoral events during his term of office.

He said: "I wanted them to be proper Devizes causes not just a Devizes branch of a national charity. The Budo club is fundraising for a new headquarters, Drews Pond Wood nature reserve is beautiful and a lot of work is needed to maintain it and the almshouses offer affordable retirement accommodation to people with long links with Devizes."

Mr Giraud-Saunders, who took up office on Thursday evening during a ceremony in the town hall, knows what it is like to face adversity as he lost his right arm in a work accident in the 1980s.

His arm was caught in a conveyor belt at a quarry in Berkshire and he spent three hours trapped until he was found and taken to hospital. By this time it was too late to save his arm.

He said: "I was conscious all the time and I remember being cross that I had left my cigarettes in the van so I couldn't have a smoke. It is a bit mad what you think about."

He spent two weeks in hospital and then a year convalescing. He said: "I decided it was time I did something so I enrolled in a college course for agricultural engineering. It was the best thing I could have done as people didn't know me before the accident and just took me for what I was."

He taught himself to manage tools and cope with life with one arm using a prosthetic limb with hooks. He said: "In more recent times I have been offered one with a cosmetically more lifelike hand but I prefer to keep what I am used to as it is very effective.

"I also prefer to have something more obvious so they are aware rather than them trying to shake hands with a plastic hand."

Mr Giraud-Saunders, who joined the Royal Navy aged 15 and served for another 15 years, still works full-time for the Oil Advisory Technical Service in Swindon and said he would have to try and mix his mayoral duties with his job.

Mr Giraud-Saunders, who is married to Giovanna and has five step-children, was first elected to Devizes Town Council three years ago. He became involved with Devizes Guardians after joining the fight to try and stop houses being built at Quakers Walk.