FORDINGBRIDGE has welcomed a new mayor who says “times are changing” for the town council.

Former deputy mayor Paul Anstey was elected to serve as the new mayor and chairman of the town council at the town council’s meeting last Wednesday, May 2 and takes over from Cllr Malcolm Connolly.

Cllr Edward Hale takes on the role of deputy mayor.

Mr Anstey spoke of the changing times for councils as well as the time given by councillors.

He said: “The only guidance I got ten years ago when I joined the council was I was informed ‘nothing happened very fast at council’ and that has haunted me for ten years and I felt there was a time for change. In fact times are changing in these changing times.”

During the meeting he admitted he had considered whether to remain a councillor, adding: “In the last couple of weeks I spent more time contemplating whether in fact I wanted to remain a councillor never mind stepping up to be chair.

Mr Anstey said that the council was being asked to do more.

He said: “Malcolm over the years has touched on time, and the time councillors have available. The line was as little or as much as you can give.

“Now I think that was an appropriate concept when this council was a village and parish council but as a town council, it doesn’t work. There is so much work to be done and it does not work for a town council in 2018.”

“A weakness of a council is not being able to generate sufficient man hours from the council and failing to meet our basic responsibilities.Therefore we go back to ‘nothing happens very fast at council’ therefore time for change.”

Mr Anstey asked councillors to give “serious” thought as to why they took on their roles.

He added: “Times have changed and we have been asked to do more so I do ask you to seriously think about the time you have and what you can give to a council.”