Councillor Kevin Cranston says he feels very honoured to be unanimously elected Stroud Town Mayor for the third year in the row.
Councillor Margaret Poulton was also re-elected Deputy Mayor of Stroud.
Councillor Cranston was first co-opted on to the council in 1997. Representing Central Ward the 65-year-old is married with two grown children and works as an environment and quality consultant.
“I feel very lucky to be Mayor of such a individualistic town,” he said. “I am keen to meet more groups who are working to help others, either in the charitable or professional sectors and want to recognise this important work. So all invitations are welcome.”
He says the Town Council, as do all councils and local authorities, faces huge challenges in maintaining vital services in the face of increasing austerity and the unknown effects of Brexit.
“In order to tackle those challenges the Town Council has taken on new office staff to help build capacity in the town for groups to deliver services in different ways. We simply cannot let some of these vital services disappear,” he said.
In the past year Councillor Cranston said the achievements he was most proud of were the approval of the Neighbourhood Development Plan and the successful transfer of Bank Gardens, the town clock and the cemetery to town council ownership.
Meeting one of the Syrian refugee families who have moved to Stroud was one of the most moving moments of the year for the Mayor.
“I was humbled by their quiet dignity. Despite facing all sorts of impositions and hardships they remain optimistic and are so very grateful to their new hosts and want to be able to put back into society to repay for the warm welcome they received,” said Councillor Cranston.