HE has lived in Fareham for 40 years and has dedicated his time to helping the people of the borough.
And now Cllr Dennis Steadman hopes to make a big difference to local charities in his new role as mayor.
Cllr Steadman, a Conservative who has served as deputy mayor for the past year took over the reins from Cllr Trevor Cartwright at a ceremony at Ferneham Hall yesterday morning.
His wife, Carole Steadman, will join him as mayoress.
‘I’m looking forward to representing the borough of Fareham,’ he said.
‘I’m very proud, not only for myself but for my family. And also for the people that put me here, the councillors who have backed me throughout the years.
‘It makes you feel very humble.
‘It’s going to be a long year but it’s going to be a very happy year.
‘What it enables me to do is to try and open up a few of these charities and organisations to the borough and let people know what’s going on.
‘Since being deputy mayor we have seen so many places that we never knew existed. It’s made us very proud to have met these people. It’s going to be a wonderful year. My family are very proud too.’
Cllr Steadman has lived in Fareham with his wife for the past 40 years.
He was born in London and went on to join the Army at the age of 18.
He later emigrated to Australia with his family for a while before moving back to England and settling in Fareham.
He was first elected to the borough council in 2000 and represents Fareham South.
Cllr Steadman has also spent 30 years training in martial arts and both he and his wife Carole have spent time setting up martial arts groups with youngsters.
Cllr Steadman added that he has got a busy year ahead starting with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations taking place next month.
‘There is so much this year that is going on,’ he said.
‘It’s fantastic. Maybe I will get to hold the Olympic torch which would be wonderful.
‘That’s going to be brilliant and we’ve got the Falklands anniversary, and the Jubilee.’
Cllr Steadman also announced that his chosen charity for his mayoral year will be Wessex Heartbeat.
Meanwhile, retiring mayor Cllr Cartwright attended more than 400 appointments in his mayoral year with his wife Ruth.
He said: ‘We thoroughly enjoyed our year.
‘Everything has exceeded our expectations.’
Councillor Susan Bayford will be the deputy mayor for the next year with husband Councillor Brian Bayford as the deputy mayor’s consort.