THE new Mayor of Bridgwater says he aims to spread the word that the town is on the up.

Cllr Steve Austen was ushered in at a ceremony at St Mary’s Church on Friday.

He takes over from Cllr Dave Loveridge.

Cllr Austen told the Mercury: “Bridgwater’s a very active and growing town, so we need to get it out there.

“With all the stuff at Hinkley Point and the disruption it will cause we need to ensure we get a good deal for the town so people benefit from it.”

A father-of-two, Cllr Austen was born in Kent in 1957, and after completing his education he qualified as a plumbing and heating engineer.

In 1987 his family moved to Burnham, where he worked for a few years before moving to Bridgwater and joining the housing department with Sedgemoor District Council in the early 1990s.

Cllr Austen said: “I’m very proud to have had a long allegiance with the Bridgwater YMCA, four years of which I was the chair.

“I was part of a very strong team of people who brought the new centre for the YMCA about.”

Cllr Loveridge said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time as Mayor. I met a lot of great people all year.

“We saw the new school at Chilton Trinity, the new hospital and the new skate park.

“Steve Austen will be a very capable mayor and I’m glad he was chosen by the town council.”

Cllr Leigh Redman has replaced Cllr Austen as Deputy Mayor.