The new Milford Haven mayor was officially elected at a ceremony on Monday night.

Outgoing mayor Councillor Eric Harries handed over the mayoral chains to Councillor David Friend at the Town Hall.

In his speech Cllr Friend thanked Cllr Harries for his help and guidance during his year as deputy mayor, adding: “He has just completed his fourth term as mayor and has carried out his duties with the usual calmness, diligence and eloquence.”

“I cannot tell you how privileged, proud and humbled I am that you have entrusted the good name of our town to me.

“I will do all I can to promote Milford Haven as a place to live, to do business and to spend leisure time.”

Cllr Friend said he feared the regeneration of Charles Street to its former glory is a lost cause but insisted that did not mean landlords and owners would be allowed to let their properties fall into disrepair.

He said: “Empty shops that are dirty and in poor repair are unlikely to attract new traders no matter what incentives are given.”

Cllr Friend said the town faced difficult time ahead, but added: “I am sure that the people of Milford Haven will meet the coming challenge with the same strength and community spirit that has seen them through wars and recessions for more than 200 years.”

Cllr Guy Woodham was also officially installed as the new deputy mayor of the town and the mayor’s chaplain for the year will be Rev Martyn Evans, from Rehoboth Church.