Aylesbury has a brand new mayor, and she couldn’t be happier to be taking up the role.
Barbara Russel, who has lived in the town for more than 40 years has already competed eight engagements in her term of office.
The first of these was to meet Beaver Scouts and join the youngsters in party games to celebrate their birthday.
She said: “The first event was meeting the Beavers at The Grange School, it was absolutely wonderful, those Beavers are gorgeous children and we played stick the tail on the donkey.
“Being mayor really feels like an honour, it feels like I’m up there in the air and there is a lot to take in.
“But I won’t let it go to my head, even though it’s lovely to wear the chains.”
Mrs Russel was born in Lancashire and grew up in Australia before settling in Stevenage and then Aylesbury with her first husband.
Sadly she was widowed and later met her second husband with who she had two more children before his sad death.
Speaking about what she loves most about the town she chose to raise her children in, Mrs Russel said: “I just love it. We originally liked it because it had the history that Stevenage just didn’t have because at that time it was a very new town.
“Aylesbury has some lovely old buildings and churches and I love walking around the old town and going in the museum.
“That was over 40 years ago, and of course the town has changed, but I even like the newer buildings that have come too.”
And speaking about what she hopes to achieve in her time in office, Conservative Mrs Russel said: “In the role as mayor I’m not political but as a councillor my priorities are parking and housing and the recycling projects, there are quite a lot of things that we could improve on.
“But I love meeting people and am definitely a people person, I’ve met so many friends in my time as a councillor, and am excited to make even more as mayor.”
Mrs Russel, who succeeds outgoing mayor Alison Harrison has yet to name the charity which will benefit from her fundraising work this year. She said: “I’m visiting two charities next week and have a third one to come. It’s an important decision and there are so many good causes here in Aylesbury.”