THE new Mayor of Henley says the theme for his year office will be bringing people together and working as a team.
Martin Akehurst, 65, was elected during the mayor-making ceremony at Henley town hall today (Monday).
He only returned to council duties in February after a four-month break due to a cancer scare.
VIDEO: Councillor Akehurst talks about his plans for 2014?
Councillor Akehurst, a member of the ruling Henley Residents’ Group, said it was a great honour to be elected and he thanked his fellow town councillors.
He said: "Henley is a special place. It has character and it has people willing to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in and generously give their time — let’s keep it that way.
"My theme this year will be bringing people together and working as a team. To quote an oft-used bit of management speak, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’."
Cllr Akehurst, who was nominated by paty colleague Dieter Hinke, also praised his predecessor, Stefan Gawrysiak, saying: "He put in some enormous hours during his term."
The former actor lives in Two Tree Hill with Glynnis, his wife of 38 years, and has two grown-up daughters.
Cllr Gawrysiak said his year as mayor had been 'a joy and a delight'. His highlights included the launch of the Music on the Meadows event and raising £4,700 for several charities, including Sue Ryder and Riverside Counselling.
He added: "Being a Mayor of Henley is an enormous privilege and honour. Thanks for inviting us to so many things."
Councillor Jeni Wood, who has been a town and district councillor for seven years, was elected deputy mayor.
She is a former mayor and lives in Blandy Road with her husband Barry, who is a former councillor and mayor.
Cllr Wood, who was nominated by Cllr Elizabeth Hodgkin, works for many organisations including the Henley Twinning Associations, Henley Operatic and Dramatic Society and the Kenton Theatre.
A full report and more pictures will be published in the Henley Standard on Friday.