THURROCK’S mayor for the next year was announced at the council’s annual general meeting.

Labour councillor for Chadwell St Mary, Tony Fish, took the Chains of Office from outgoing mayor Yash Gupta.

Lifelong Thurrock resident Cllr Fish, who has waited nearly a decade to take up the ceremonial role after he was wamde deputy mayor in 2003, said achieving the ambition was “testament to his positive attitude”.

Conservative leader Phil Anderson said there was not another councillor that has waited as long to be mayor as Cllr Fish.

Addressing councillors and guests in the council chamber after the gold chain was rested around his neck, Cllr Fish paid tribute to the outgoing mayor before saying: “When I lost the use of my legs in 1981, I couldn’t dream I would one day be sitting here as Mayor of Thurrock.

“But back then I decided to adopt a positive attitude and make the most of what I had and I think achieving this ambition is a testament to that positive attitude.”

He added: “During my year as mayor, I want to highlight the wonderful dedicated work that goes on in Thurrock to support vulnerable people lead rich and fulfilling lives where they have the same choices and control over their lives as everyone else.

“As a proud lifelong resident of Thurrock I will also be promoting our great borough and its rich, colourful history. With the regeneration taking place over the next few years I’m sure we’re looking at a great future. I intend to enjoy every minute.”

Cllr Fish announced that his sister, Sue Bradish will be his mayoress. The council later voted for Belhus ward councillor Wendy Curtis to be deputy mayor over Chafford Hundred Conservative councillor Tunde Ojetola.

Cllr Curtis nominated husband and fellow ward councillor Charlie, who was mayor two years ago, to be consort.

Council leader John Kent paid tribute to outgoing mayor Yash Gupta. He said he had known the former mayor for around 20 years and that the determination, pride and effort which had seen him succeed when coming to Britain from India in 1966, had been apparent throughout his year of office.

He added: "Thank you to you for a long hard year, time now to put your feet up and have a rest!"