WESTHOUGHTON’S new mayor has officially started work after a ceremonial handover at a town council meeting.

Cllr Kevan Jones formally assumed responsibilities at Westhoughton Town Council on May 12, with the meeting adjourned for a week after the handover was complete.

The new deputy mayor, Cllr Lynda Winrow-Baker, also started her new role, with tributes paid to both and outgoing mayor Cllr Christopher Peacock.

Cllr Chadwick also took the opportunity to express his sadness that some people are trying to “destroy” Westhoughton Town Council.

Town councils should be axed as they are a waste of money according to Conservative borough councillor Andy Morgan, who attended the ceremony along with Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris.

Cllr Chadwick said Cllr Jones’ points are set in the right direction and joked that nobody should under-estimate him, given his predilection for Thai boxing.

He said: “In Kevan Jones we have a man with a distinguished track record and a proud service record in the local community and with the Labour Party.

“I know his late father would have been very proud of him becoming Westhoughton’s 30th town mayor.”

Cllr Chadwick also congratulated “vociferous campaigner” Cllr Peacock for his year as mayor, praising his “self-discipline” and “whole-hearted approach”.

Cllr Jones, who works for Cross Country Trains, has nominated Derian House and the RNLI as his chosen charities, with mum Pauline his mayoress for the year.

Cllr Winrow-Baker will be supported by husband Andrew as consort.

Cllr Phil Ashcroft, Conservative for White Horse, said: “It gives me great pleasure to speak in support of Lynda.

“She is an active and enthusiastic member of the Westhoughton community.

“She takes on concerns from residents and works tirelessly to bring them to a positive conclusion.”

In the opening to his endorsement of the new mayor, Cllr Chadwick said: “Other townships aspire to what many belittle as an irrelevance.

“It is very sad that some people who have never lived in our proud and historic town set out to destroy that which was so hard fought for by our forebears.

“Do we want to be the people who destroy the very heart and soul of this town?

“I think not. This council is too valuable an asset to be lost.”