Any councillor taking the job of Swindon’s mayor in the same week that Honda confirmed its plant would close would say he or she wanted to help the town bounce back.

It’s a little closer to home for Kevin Parry.

The Conservative councillor for Covingham and Dorcan actually works at Honda, and is suffering the same uncertainty his friends and colleagues are.

He will be elected as mayor of Swindon tomorrow after spending a year as deputy mayor.

Coun Parry intends to do everything he can to help.

He said: “I’m going through exactly the same things everyone else is here. But I will have a position where I can try and promote Swindon.

“As mayor I want to be getting out and flying the flag for the town; banging a drum for it.

"I want to get it known that it’s a great place to live and work and do business.

"I want to be talking to businesses and getting them to come and invest here and make use of the skilled and committed workforce we have.”

And while the news puts a downbeat accent on to the start of his mayoral year, Coun Parry is upbeat.

“I believe in Swindon and I believe in the people here," he said.

"We’ve had setbacks before, we lost the railway works and we survived that, we will survive Honda going as well, and I think we’ll come back stronger.”

Away from Honda, Coun Parry says his priorities are to try and bring people in the town closer together.

As his charities he has chosen CALM - the Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Movement, which does most of its work in Swindon and Marlborough, and the Swindon and North Wiltshire Deaf Children’s Society.

He said: “There are some personal reasons. I know a colleague at work whose child has cancer. We will all know someone who has cancer, and a third of us will get it.

“I have a view that childhood should be magical and I believe that no child should have to face that.

“As a child I suffered hearing loss myself and I wore a hearing aid - I don’t now.

"I’s a small charity, and it can be overlooked, so I wanted to make the society one of my charities. Neither of them have any paid staff, so any money raised for them, we know will go to the people that need their help, and they both do great work.”

After a year as deputy, Coun Parry says he’s looking forward to stepping up to the top job: “Junab Ali, who is mayor now, said to me that everyone, at least every councillor should be mayor at some point.

“He meant that you see a lot of things going on as mayor that you don’t see even as a councillor. There are so many great organisations and charities working here to make Swindon an even better place I really want to get involved and give them my support


Born in Rochdale, but to a Swindon family, Coun Parry moved here when he was 10, and is Swindonian through and through: “I went to school here, I went straight from school into training and work. This town has given me everything - my job, my home, I met my wife here.

“I’m really looking forward to being mayor and doing everything I can to fly a flag for Swindon.”