MILFORD Haven is thought to be the first town in UK to elect both an openly gay mayor and deputy mayor.

Current deputy William Elliott will also become Milford Haven's youngest mayor when he takes on the mayoral chains in May.

Cllr Elliott, 28, who also leads the town's cadet group, was backed for the role at a meeting on Monday, and will succeed present mayor Cllr Stephen Joseph.

“I am 100 per cent confident he will give everything he has to make the most impact for the people of Milford Haven,” said Cllr Guy Woodham.

“It’s a huge achievement to have been given this opportunity, and I am honoured to have this privilege,” said Cllr Elliott, who plans to use his year in office to ‘bridge the generation gap’ in the town, and bring people together.

His two main charities for the year will be the Milford Haven Sea Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets, which Cllr Elliott said had “played a huge part” in his life, and the Junior Town Band.

“The band is doing a great job of promoting and encouraging creativity within Milford,” he said.

Speaking on becoming only the second openly gay mayor in Pembrokeshire, Cllr Elliott said: “I think it sends the right message out that Milford is a community that is open and accepting of anyone, regardless of their sexuality, gender, race, or religion, which is a positive thing for the town and its people.”

He thanked his fellow councillors, and local voters, for helping “get to this point in the town council’s history”.

A qualified primary school teacher, Cllr Elliott splits his time between Manorbier, and supply work at Milford Junior School.

Cllr Colin Sharp will take on the role of deputy, after narrowly beating Cllr Carol Stevens to the position by one vote.

Cllr Sharp moved to Milford Haven nine years ago, and has been involved with a number of local charities, including Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship (PATCH), the Talking Mercury audio newspaper, the Round Table and Business Circle.

He is currently chairman of Milford Haven Museum, governor at the Meads and Milford Haven Junior schools, and co-organises the town's annual Christmas Together with his husband Cllr Woodham, himself a former mayor.

Cllr Sharp also helped save the Pill Social Centre from closure, and is still heavily involved in the running of the hall.

“The one thing I love about Milford is its community spirit, and as deputy I will be supporting the mayor during his year in office, and representing a town I’m very proud to call my home," he said.

He added: “We’ve had loads of 'firsts' in Milford: this year will see us welcome our youngest mayor, Guy was the first openly gay mayor, and now we will have both an openly gay mayor and deputy.

“I feel it is a real honour that my fellow councillors have backed me, and I guarantee I will not let them down."