THE newly elected mayor for Ross-on-Wye says she will make it her mission to tackle loneliness in the town.

Liberal Democrat Jane Roberts was elected mayor with Independent Daniel Lister chosen as her deputy at a Ross town council meeting on Monday.

Councillor Roberts said she would establish a good neighbour scheme in a bid to reduce loneliness in the town.

“Even in Ross where community links are stronger than in many other places people there are far too many lonely people,” she said.

Coun Roberts thanked the council for their trust and also thanked all the outgoing councillors.

She said: “This new council is rather more diverse than its predecessors.

“Especially in terms of the average age.

“In many ways, I think it could be the most representative council that Ross has ever had.”

As mayor she said she would represent the town at official and community events ‘without fuss and undue ritual in a way that befits a 21st century council’.

“New beginnings mean new ways of doing things,” she said.

Coun Roberts explained how being a councillor can be extremely challenging for people with work or family commitments and that it systematically discriminated against younger councillors.

“We must look at ways to address this spreading the workload,” she said.

“This would be in line with the council’s commitments to equal opportunities.”

She also said there was scope for the council to work more closely with the voluntary sector.