It was all change at Malmesbury Town Council this week as Coun Sue Poole became mayor and former RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant won the by-election.

Coun Poole was voted in to take over from Coun John Gundry as mayor at Tuesday night’s mayor making ceremony at Malmesbury Town Hall, with Coun Kim Power becoming deputy mayor.

Mrs Poole said: “My husband was mayor in 2006/2007. When he died, I had my arm twisted to stand for the council. I’m very fortunate to not have to work and I am fit and able to do it.

“You get invited to events and just by turning up as mayor you make their event so much more special and that’s such a privilege. You also get to meet lots of people you wouldn’t otherwise.”

In last week’s by-election to replace Coun Bill Blake, who moved Hampshire after seven years’ service, Gavin Grant won with 590 votes to 410 against Guy Franklin.

The recently retired Coun Grant spent three years as the RSPCA’s chief executive, during which it was attacked by pro-hunt MPs and the Countryside Alliance for its prosecutions against fox and deer hunting.

He said: “I am delighted to have won and very pleased that the turnout was very good for a local by-election.

“I have lived in Malme-sbury for 10 years but I’ve never had the time before to do everything I wanted to do in the community.

“I joined the council because I think Malmesbury needs to have more control over its own destiny.”

He highlights high street retailers and town council control over car parks among his list of his priorities.

He lives with wife Liz Cook, daughter Holly, 19, dalmatian Lucy and two cats.