A TOWN and county councillor who says he was ‘born in Broad Haven, but made in Milford Haven’ has been named mayor for the coming year.

At a ceremony on Monday night (May 18), Cllr Stephen Joseph received his chains of office from outgoing mayor Cllr Eric Harries.

Proposing him for the role, Cllr Guy Woodham said Cllr Joseph had been a hardworking and dedicated councillor since his election in 2012, and was confident he would be an ‘effective and proactive mayor who will always put the interests of Milford Haven people first’.

He praised Cllr Joseph’s work in getting the Rath paddling pool re-opened during the summer, and for heading up the restoration of the town’s Water Gardens.

Accepting his mayoral chains, Cllr Joseph said the occasion was ‘bittersweet’ as it also marked the final meeting for Cllr Mike George, who is stepping down after 11 years as a councillor.

He said the task of taking over from Cllr Harries – who has 50 years’ experience in local government – was a daunting one, but said he had taken his advice and would not be trying to ‘change the world’ during his year in office.

Instead, he said he would do his best to ‘bridge the gap between the town council and the community’ by making people more aware of the work it does, and how it can help people.

To do this, he plans on taking a more ‘hands on’ approach, and joked that his chains might get more wear if they were printed on a T-shirt instead.

Taking up the role of deputy was Cllr Will Elliott, who at 27 is believed to be the town’s youngest ever second in command.

Cllr Elliott, who has been involved in the town’s Cadets group since he was 10, and is currently training to be a teacher, was already ‘an asset to the council’, said proposer Cllr Colin Sharpe.

“If you cut him in half he would have the words Milford Haven running through him,” he added.

In a rare move, Cllr Joseph’s wife Naomi was named consort and mayor’s chaplain, and gave her first blessing of the civic year.

Outgoing mayor Cllr Harries thanked the clerk, councillors, his chaplain Father Harri Williams, his consort Lynwen Harries, and Mayor’s Cadet Sophie Hounsome.

He praised the ‘wonderful work’ of all the organisations working for the benefit of the town, and said if he had achieved anything in the last year, it was only due to ongoing support of local people.