AS he prepares to hand over the ceremonial robes of office, Councillor Chris Hayes has reflected on his time as mayor of Whitehaven.

He says that he has been 'honoured to serve in this role' and has enjoyed partaking in the many duties that were assigned to him since his appointment in May 2023. 

Cllr Hayes has completed his year's term as mayor and a new councillor will be elected to the post on Monday, May 27.

Cllr Hayes said: "I was honoured and delighted to be elected as the Whitehaven town council mayor, and what an amazing year it has been.

"I have met some great people and lots of other mayors from all over Cumbria, all with the same passion for their towns and, in the case of Carlisle, his city."

Whilst serving in his role Cllr Hayes took part in a number of events around the town. 

He also made his chosen charity Bee Unique, a local group that supports children and young people with autism. 

Cllr Hayes continued: "My chosen charity was Bee Unique and I was delighted to open their Send Games and meet some fantastic children and their lovely parents. 

"One of my highlights was attending the carol service at Carlisle Cathedral and meeting the high sheriff of Cumbria.

"A very sober moment was leading The Remembrance Sunday March throughout the town and seeing the hundreds of people coming out to show their respects.

"On a personal note, I was delighted to be invited to open the new Bludgeons store on Woodhouse, owned by my good friend Nick and his lovely family, the Sharmas."

As part of his mayor's allowance, Cllr Hayes helped to refurbish the historic mayor's seat used by local authorities for over 100 years.

Cllr Hayes was also heavily involved in town council activities in St Nicholas' Gardens where he took part in a charity fire walk which raised thousands for charity. And at Easter donned a bunny suit to greet children and give them Easter eggs. 

Cllr Hayes also paid tribute to his late mother, saying: "I have to lastly mention my lovely, amazing mam, who sadly we lost recently.

"She was so proud of me being mayor and my wife being mayoress, but made a big point of telling me 'That robe is too big, get it altered'... I explained it was over 100 years old!"