IT IS the end of an era for long-serving mayor of Fordingbridge Malcolm Connolly who says it has been a “privilege” to represent the town.

Councillor Connolly stood down from the civic role last Wednesday and handed over the mayoral chains to Councillor Paul Anstey.

Cllr Connolly was first elected mayor on May 6, 2009 and was previously deputy mayor in 2008.

He said: “The residents of Fordingbridge have made my rather long stay as mayor so very enjoyable and it has been an absolute privilege to represent our wonderful town.

“While I understand I’m not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ I have always acted in what I consider the appropriate manner and hopefully represented the majority of resident’s views.”

Over the past year as mayor he has helped celebrate a few milestones in the town including the 35th anniversary of Fordingbridge twinning with Vimoutiers in France, opened new businesses in the town, unveiled the new kitchen facilities at Avonway Community Centre, attended 100th birthday celebrations and more.

“I will miss my civic duties, the schools and churches, lunch clubs and many others,” said Mr Connolly.

Despite stepping down from the role of mayor, Cllr Connolly will still serve on Fordingbridge Town Council.

He added: “I do hope to remain very active in both my council responsibilities and many other local activities of which I participate.

“Again I would like to thank Fordingbridge for the honour of being their mayor, an honour that I am eternally indebted.”

During last week’s meeting Cllr Malcolm Adams thanked Cllr Connolly on behalf of all the town council for his “enormous hard work” over the years.

Mr Connolly, speaking at last week’s meeting, thanked councillors and staff for their support and guidance over the years.

New mayor appointed for Fordingbridge