New Malmesbury Mayor Patrick Goldstone says the town’s retail sector will be his focus over the next 12 months.

Coun Goldstone, 63, took the chains of office on Tuesday night from Coun Catherine Doody.

This will be the second time Coun Goldstone has been mayor, following his first term in 2004.

In relation to his priorities during his term in office, the father-of-two said: “Developing our retail base is important.

“We have had a few empty shops in the town but it’s good to see a couple of new shops taking those spaces.

“I’m also keen to oppose the closure of our specialist learning centre at Malmesbury Primary School.

“Another priority is getting Wiltshire Council to fix our roads. None of the main roads going into the town are fit for purpose. It is not just potholes, some of the road surfaces around the town are not acceptable.”

Coun Goldstone, who has lived in Malmesbury for 25 years, praised the town’s tightly knit community.

He said: “Malmesbury has a remarkable community spirit.

“This is shown by the quality of really effective voluntary organisations from the Youth Football Club to the River Valley Trust.

“It is quite remarkable the number of teams the football club is able to maintain.

“It is also great to see the way the school have pushed the music scene in the town.

“The links with WOMAD has led to the fantastic work of the Malmesbury Music Academy.”