THE new Mayor of Swindon officially took up her role yesterday at a special council meeting.

Councillor Teresa Page (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton) will now carry out mayoral duties for the next year, having spent the last twelve months as the Deputy Mayor.

She was first elected as a councillor in 1996, serving until 2004, and was then elected again at the 2012 elections.

The Irish-born mayor said she was looking forward to the year ahead and could not wait to get started.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted and very proud to be Swindon’s mayor, not just for me but for everyone who was born in Ireland that lives in Swindon.

“This is something I have been looking forward to all year. In fact, once it’s over I don’t know what I’ll do but for now it’s about seizing the day.

“I am here to serve the people and represent Swindon. In my year as Deputy Mayor I have already met so many wonderful people and am looking forward to meeting even more.

“We are very lucky in Swindon as we have so many people who are willing to give their time for others. I hope my year goes smoothly and I can represent the people of Swindon as they want.”

As mayor, Coun Page has selected Prospect Hospice and the Goldenhar Family Support Group to support during her year, having heard about the case of Morgan Sharpe, who suffers from the birth defect syndrome.

She said: “I read about it and thought I have never heard of that. I asked around and quite a few other people hadn’t either so hopefully we can raise a bit more awareness this year.

“So few people have it in the country but having met Morgan I want to make people more aware of the good work the charity does.

“Prospect Hospice do such fantastic work in Swindon and the surrounding area it is good to be able to support them.”

Taking up the role of deputy mayor for the year is Coun Andrew Bennett (Con, Ridgeway).

He said: “I am looking forward to it a great deal and it is especially nice to represent one of the rural wards.

“ I will be working closely with the mayor and we will soon have a full calendar of duties.

“The important thing about this role is that it is not about me but going out and recognising the hard work of others.”

In a year’s time, Coun Bennett will step into the role of mayor for the following 12 months.