Barnstaple’s annual Mayor Making Ceremony has been cancelled for one of the few times in its history.

The event at the Guildhall had been scheduled for Thursday, May 21 but in line with Government guidelines on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic it has had to be missed this year.

Also in line with Government advice, Barnstaple Town Council has decided that Councillor Alan Rennles will continue as Mayor for 2020 – 2021, to be confirmed at the next meeting of the council, to be held as a video meeting and the date to be agreed soon.

The council said it was currently feeling its way month by month on all forthcoming civic and ceremonial events for this year.

During his previous mayoral year, Cllr Rennles saw £8,077.44 raised at various fundraising events for his chosen charities of Age Concern Barnstaple and the See Hear Centre - he would like to thank everyone for their help and support with this fundraising effort.

The 2020 Mayor Making was also set to have been the last ceremonial duty for the town council’s long serving senior beadle George Lovering, who is stepping down as senior beadle but is staying on as a beadle for now and new beadle Don Gramlich will take on the senior role.

It is hoped an event to mark this occasion can be held at some point in the future.

At the end of each council year the mayor traditionally nominates local groups and individuals for the contribution they have made to the town.

The accolades this year include the Environment Cup for the waste and recycling team at North Devon Council for their work during these challenging times.

The Kernow Cup goes to North Devon Gang Show 2020 organisers Emily Rodgers, Chloe Hardman, Sophie Lavercombe and Carrie Hogan.

The Town Cup goes to Dee Harding for her volunteering over the years in support of the council’s heritage activities and the Youth Cup to Taylor Sedgewick for his services to Pathfield School, but most importantly the key role he plays in supporting his family as a young carer.

The RAF Plate award – presented each year by the council to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the well-being of the community will be agreed by the Town Council at its next meeting.

Cllr Rennles would like to pass on a special thank you to Hope Ovey, the Mayor’s Cadet (2019-2020) for her outstanding contribution at the civic and ceremonial events held during the year.

It is hoped presentations of awards can be made at a later date.