The new mayor of Barnstaple says he feels privileged to take on the role and is keen to get on with the job.

The new mayor of Barnstaple for 2019-20, Councillor Alan Rennles, with his wife and mayoress Sue, plus deputy mayor Cllr Val Elkins and her husband Roy. Picture: BTCThe new mayor of Barnstaple for 2019-20, Councillor Alan Rennles, with his wife and mayoress Sue, plus deputy mayor Cllr Val Elkins and her husband Roy. Picture: BTC

Alan Rennles was installed into office at the annual mayor making ceremony in Barnstaple Guildhall last night (Thursday, May 23) with Councillor Val Elkins to serve as deputy mayor for the year ahead.

He takes over from outgoing mayor Ian Roome, who also proposed Mr Rennles as mayor.

Mr Rennles told the Gazette: "It's an honour to be put forward by the council to do the job.

"I am here to work with the people for the people. There are lots of changes going on with North Devon Council and my colleagues on the parish and town councils will hopefully get listened to.

The Barnstaple mayor making ceremony for 2019-20. Picture: BTCThe Barnstaple mayor making ceremony for 2019-20. Picture: BTC

"Things have got to change, the town has got to change, we have got to listen to the people and get on with the job."

In the year ahead, Mr Rennles said he was keen to focus on the infrastructure of Barnstaple and to look at town planning through such documents as the Neighbourhood Plan and the Strategic Plan.

His mayor's charities for the year are Age Concern Barnstaple and the See Hear Centre in Barnstaple, which has a personal meaning to Mr Rennles.

The charity is part of Living Options Devon and Mr Rennles has a family interest as one of his relatives has received huge support from the centre in Barnstaple over the years.

Outgoing Barnstaple mayor Ian Roome presented the Town Cup for 2019 to Fiona Lane and Daniel Weston, who represented ND in the Special Olympics. Picture: BTCOutgoing Barnstaple mayor Ian Roome presented the Town Cup for 2019 to Fiona Lane and Daniel Weston, who represented ND in the Special Olympics. Picture: BTC

As his final job as mayor, Mr Roome presented cheques on the night to two of his chosen charities - Families in Grief and the Over and Above cancer and wellbeing centre appeal.

He also awarded the Town Cup for the year to Fiona Lane and Daniel Weston, who both represented North Devon in the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi, both winning medals. Fiona competed in tennis and Dan in cycling.

Val Elkins has been on the council for 20 years and in that time has served as mayor and deputy mayor.

She said of the year ahead: "I feel my role this year is to support the mayor, whatever he chooses to do, as well as to support the town and the community that I am town councillor for, which is Pilton and Yeo."