THE new mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett praised the town's community for supporting each other during the pandemic.

Fellow councillors elected Nic Hughes to the esteemed position during their latest meeting which had to be conducted online because of lockdown limitations.

Mr Hughes has been a town councillor for three years and lived in Bassett for 16 years with his wife and two daughters.

Coun Sue Hughes was a mayor herself back in 2015, their 23-year-old daughter Charlotte is a biochemistry researcher and her 13-year-old sister Jasmine is a student at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

During his year in office, Nic is hoping to bring the town together to support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.

He said: "I've seen people from all walks of life coming together to help each other and I want that to continue.

"We should be proud of our town and it's a great privilege for me to be elected as mayor and be at the centre of this wonderful community.

"I appreciate that at this difficult time, the requirements of the pandemic have changed the role somewhat and it'll be quite different to before.

"I would like to do anything I can to help the town. There are going to be a lot of difficulties for businesses, especially retail, and we all need to keep supporting each other to recover from the impact this crisis has had and help us get back to how we were six months ago."

Every mayor gets to choose a charity to fundraise for during their year in the ceremonial role. Mr Hughes will be supporting NHS charities during his tenure, particularly Brighter Futures, which supports wards and facilities managed by the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as well as wider community medical services.

He added: "We all appreciate what the NHS has done during this crisis to help patients recover from the virus. It's more important than ever that it receives the support it needs.

"I will start organising fundraisers in the autumn when the government reveal more about what we are allowed to do and the possible vaccines being developed."

Mayor Hughes' first event will be the reopening of Royal Wootton Bassett's police station on Thursday. It will be the first time he can don the mayoral chains, though a robing ceremony is planned for later in the year when government guidance permits.

He added: "As councillor, I've attended several mayor-making events but unfortunately, I wasn't able to have my family and friends with me at my own mayor-making, which was a shame."

Coun Marion Sweet is the new deputy mayor - her second time in the role.

A town council spokesman said: "We wish them both a successful year through these unprecedented times."