OPPORTUNITIES for young people in Royal Wootton Bassett will be the focus of the town's newly decorated mayor for the next year.

Steve Watts, a councillor since 2012 and dad-of-four, who volunteers with the Sea Cadets, was sworn in as mayor to take over the reins from Coun Mike Farrow.

Speaking with the Adver, after the official ceremony in St Bartholomew's Church on Thursday, he said he was passionate about ensuring young people have the right opportunities to carry the flame on for future generations to come.

“I’ve always been one for the youth of our town, " he said, "I want to see better safety and better opportunities.

"We've got to remember that these are the future custodians of the town and our country.

"We’re looking up to our children to take over from where we leave off and to make it a better place."

Steve, who has changed around his work rota as a HGV driver to fit in his mayoral duties, has adopted the local Richard Jones Foundation as his chosen charity for the year-long role.

The foundation has provided educational help to young people in the town for more than 300 years.

It hands out grants to students between seven and 25 years who need help to buy equipment, instruments, books or to fund educational trips.

Steve added: "It’s really important we nurture young people and give them the best opportunities we can, even for those families who struggle to afford the extra activities and education, which is why the foundation fits in so well with it.

“There’s no discrimination as to who you are, if you need assistance to better the educational chances of your child they will help with funding."

Initiatives such as the town's Local Youth Network, which is currently in the process of applying for grant funding from the council, will be pleased with the boost of support.

Councillor Nic Hughes has been appointed deputy mayor and takes over from Steve who was deputy last year.

The majority conservative group voted in favour of Steve at a council meeting held in February.

Calls to reform the process were made in April because the ruling group has managed to hold onto the title every year except one in the last 20 years.

A working group of both Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors has been set up to further discuss the issue.

It is expected to report on alternative ways of selecting the mayor to the council in the autumn.