THOUSANDS of pounds were handed out to charities on Monday evening when Mayor Lisa Farrell handed over the top civic job in Marlborough to Mervyn Hall.

Mrs Farrell who supported New Road Centre, Jubilee Centre, Kennet Community Bus, Finlay Foundation, Marlborough St Mary’s, Preshute Primary and Macmillan Cancer Research during her year in office.

Each of the good causes, which were chosen by the public, received cheques for for £600.17.

Niki Connor, who sent up the Finlay Foundation after the death of her young son outside Woodborough Primary School, was delighted to receive the donation. She said: "We would like to say thank you so much to Lisa Farrell and all those that nominated us and that donated to the Mayor’s chosen seven charities.

"Lisa is not only a lovely lady but someone who really cares about the community and works so hard organising and volunteering on so many projects in and around Marlborough. It was a pleasure to be a part of the special ceremony at the town hall and a real pleasure to meet Lisa."

Cllr Hall, who has been a town councillor for six years, is no stranger to the role of Mayor as he also served in 2017. This time he becomes the town's 709th mayor. Mark Cooper is the new deputy mayor.

Cllr Hall said: "There is an exciting year ahead. I look forward to it with a certain amount of trepidation but will do my best to make a positive contribution.”

His chosen charities for the year will be the Scouts and the Jubilee Centre to show support to both the young and the elderly in the town.

In her outgoing speech Cllr Farrell said: "I’m not a typical mayor, I’ve done things my way. Marlborough is a lovely place to live and work but we do have problems here like everywhere else – problems such as poverty, drugs and mental health issues.”