THE new mayor of Southend has promised a year of fun and fundraising ahead.

Eastwood Park councillor Chris Walker was officially inaugurated as mayor at Southend’s Civic Centre, yesterday.

Mr Walker, of Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, who served as deputy mayor last year, pledged to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and the Southend Fund.

The retired funeral director, who was first elected to the council in May 1997, said: “It is an absolute honour to be made the 94th mayor of the borough of Southend.

“I am very much looking forward to the responsibility of representing the borough, meeting as many members of the local community as possible and attending a range of events.

“It is going to be a fun and musical year and I am promising lots of musical events to help raise funds for my chosen charities.”

Making a surprise appearance at the mayor making was BBC presenter Sue Barker. She made a speech about howmuch the newmayor and his wife, Janet, had raised for the muscular dystrophy charity.

Mr Walker takes over as mayor from his Conservative colleague Brian Kelly.