Malmesbury’s town mayor is eager and excited to help the town recover, and prosper, in the wake of the pandemic.

Paul Smith took over from Campbell Ritchie on May 20. He has been part of the town council since 2017.

He hopes to work with people across the community to make a real difference to the town.

He hopes to raise the profile of charities in the town, such as Maggies, The Rise Trust and Heals Malmesbury, and help the town recover.

“These charities have been so important supporting people during the pandemic, and how we try to give back is important. It breaks my heart to think that people in this town go hungry,” he said.

The town recently held their traditional St Aldhelm’s Day Fair, and there was further good news earlier this year, when American couple Kim and Whit Hanks announced they would be purchasing the Old Bell Hotel and Abbey House and Gardens. Moving forward, Cllr Smith hopes this good news continues and the community is able to come together.

He added: “We really want to engage with people, like business owners and young people, on what we can do. It’s a really special town and all the Town Council does reflects that.”

Cllr Smith, and wife Frances, moved to Malmesbury in 2010, and now live in one of the towns most historic buildings.

Since they restored it, the Old White Lion has now been a living history pub and part of Heritage Open Days, charity events and more.