Okehampton town councillor Allenton Fisher was unanimously elected town mayor for the second year at last week's official Mayor Choosing event, held each May.

Last Wednesday (May 8), officials from West Devon Borough Council, Devon County Council, Tiverton Town Council, Launceston Town Council, Great Torrington Town Council and Tavistock Town Council gathered in Okehampton Town Hall to witness the declaration of the mayor and deputy mayor for 2024/25 and the presentation of the prestigious Mayoral Award, given to residents in recognition of exceptional community work.

Mark Richards, the newest town councillor, announced the council's decision to reelect Cllr Fisher as mayor for a second term with heartfelt words of admiration: "I consider it as an honour to propose him. I consider that he brings a number of important traits to the role. Firstly, it is the dignity with which he comports himself as mayor whenever a formal presence is demanded. Yet, at the same time, I'm impressed with his humanity in the way that he relates both to the young or the old or the rich or the poor. I admire his management skills, especially the way that he chairs meetings, both within the Council Chamber and beyond, and especially the way he strives to make everyone feel included. He has a level of personal charisma to the extent that no one who meets him ever forgets the meeting or remembers it except with pleasure. At the same time, he has a sense of humour and appears quite unfazed and enjoying himself when required to wear clothes that fit best into the 17th century. Finally, he's an excellent spokesperson and representative for the town, and for that, we in Okehampton, should be deeply grateful."

Allenton Fisher said he was "honoured" to be reelected and promised "to do my best." He outlined his plans for the upcoming year, which include continuing to engage with community groups, promoting community cleanliness through litter-picking initiatives and empowering young people through the newly established youth council. He also announced his chosen charity for the year, Hospiscare, which provides at-home palliative care across East, Mid and parts of West Devon. He named fellow councillor Richard Coleman as deputy mayor for the year.

The Mayor Choosing event also saw the presentation of the prestigious Mayoral Award to seven residents. Ian Donovan was recognised for almost half a century of service to the community, spanning his tenure in the fire service and his dedication to charitable causes.

Meanwhile, David McNeill and Dawn Bell received the award for campaigning for the town's welfare and residents. Karen Percival was recognised for her many years of work with Okehampton United Charities and numerous other groups and charities.

Burger van owner, Tony Kent, was praised for his contributions to the community, particularly on Saturday nights and early Sunday mornings each week. Ryan Arthurs from the virtual reality centre, Immersion, was commended for providing opportunities and a safe space for people of all ages and abilities. Cadet Radoslaw Polak was acknowledged for serving as the Mayor's Cadet for 2023/2024.