AFTER a stunning victory for Ideal Bradford in the local elections last week, a member of the independent group has been elected as the town’s mayor for the year ahead.

David Garwood, 64, was sworn in as mayor at the new council’s first meeting on Monday night and has big plans for the town during his year-long tenure.

Mr Garwood, of Market Street, has over 20 years of experience in business, from directing a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to running a business management consultancy, and will use his expertise to focus on boosting the local economy.

Dad-of-two Mr Garwood said: “It is a fantastic honour to be the new mayor of Bradford on Avon and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

“Ideal Bradford only formed six months ago, then we had the local election success last week, and now I’m the mayor – it’s been a quite an incredible journey.

​"I have lots of exciting ideas and we as the new council are looking forward to lots of public engagement. We want to hear from residents how they would like to improve the town.”

At his first meeting, the keen photographer announced a new committee structure, which will see the full council meet every six weeks, instead of once a month as at present, so that councillors have more time to engage with the local community.

The new-look council also plans to invite active members of the community along to relevant council meetings to hear their views.

“We’re going to look at ways to enhance the visitor experience and we want to do that by hearing from the community,” added Mr Garwood, who has lived in the town for 21 years.

“Bradford on Avon is a fantastic town but there are things we can improve, including parking, which has long been a problem for visitors.

“There’s a lot of professional experience within this council and we’re all looking forward to improving the town.”