COUNCILLOR Jeremy Walden has returned as Mayor of Axminster.
He previously served as town mayor from 2013-2015, and the comeback to the top job was confirmed during Axminster Town Council’s meeting on May 6th.
Incumbent Paul Hayward declared that he did not seek a second term, having been appointed mayor in May last year.
Councillor Walden was proposed by councillor John Jeffery, and there were no other nominations.
The deputy-mayor for 2016-17, councillor Lara Rowe, did not seek a second term.
Councillor Anni Young was subsequently appointed deputy mayor, having been proposed by Councillor Brian Watson. There were no other nominations.
Having been installed as town mayor, Councillor Walden thanked his predecessor for his efforts, and added: “I shall do the very best that I can, and it is an honour to serve again.”
Councillor Hayward did not elaborate on his reasons for not seeking a second term, but has since told Pulman’s Weekly News: “I have changed career from handyman to parish clerk and have an obligation to take quite a few exams to get qualifications.
“This is time-consuming and I would like to spend more time with my family and my granddaughter.
“I wouldn’t want the town to have a mayor who couldn’t be fully devoted to the role.
“We are entering a phase when Axminster needs all its councillors to pull in the same direction to get the best deal for our town.
“I remain a councillor and I am happy to help the new mayor in any way that is of assistance to him, using my expertise as a parish clerk.
“I wish him and new deputy-mayor Anni Young every success, and I know they will do their very best for our town.”