THE OUTGOING mayor of Bridport has described the role as “an absolute honour” as she gets set to hand over the reins.

Cllr Ros Kayes thanked town council staff and local residents for help and support during her 12 months as first citizen of Bridport.

Speaking at the annual town meeting, Cllr Kayes said: “It’s been an absolute honour to represent our wonderful town in my mayoral year and what a very enjoyable year I’ve had.

“From the vintage rally to the Queen’s 90th birthday to being soaked with water at the hilarious raft race, the Melplash Show and West Bay Wallow, it makes you realise what an action packed civic year this town has.”

She added: “I would very much like to thank the sea cadets and sea scouts for providing the mayor’s own escorts in public ceremonies and services.

“The young people involved have been superb. I need also to thank my own escort, Cllr Geoff Ackerman, who as always is the perfect gentleman.”

Cllr Kayes will hand over the mayoral chains to Cllr Anne Rickard later this month.

Cllr Kayes added: “I’d also like to thank my deputy, Anne Rickard, without whom I could not have undertaken my mayoral year at all and who has been gone beyond the call of duty.

“Being a county and a district councillor keeps you very busy and Anne has deputised at the majority of civic days across Dorset – good preparation, I hope, for next year.”

Members of the public also heard from leader of the council Cllr Sarah Williams, who spoke about the achievements of the authority over the last 12 months. Cllr Williams highlighted the council stepping in to help save both the Tourist Information Centre and the youth centre from closure, as well as funding being secured through the Coastal Community Team, as particular success.

She added: "The last year therefore has seen the town council start to deliver on its commitment to safeguard local services. This will continue to be a key priority over the coming years, with possible moves to a new unitary authority.

"We are already working hard to identify other services that could be affected by moves to a unitary authority, such as public toilets, further minor highways work. However, in considering any further service delegations, the town council will seek to ensure delegated funding is also provided, as was the case with the TIC transfer."