New Gosport mayor hopes to build a better future for the town
SHE is a builder, businesswoman and a trained psychologist - and now she has been made town mayor.
The new mayor of Gosport, Cllr Kathleen Jones, was appointed at an official ceremony at the Thorngate Halls.
With a degree in psychology, a family background in construction and a long-standing hardware business, Cllr Jones has been described as a jack of all trades by her peers.
Stepping into the shoes of outgoing mayor Cllr Diane Furlong, Cllr Jones hopes she can follow the lineage of female mayors making a difference in the town - and hopes to unite councillors across the political spectrum.
'My biggest hope is that all the leaders in Gosport can work together to make this town a safe haven for all,' she said.
The new mayor will be throwing her support behind the charity Motiv8 and the Scouts and Guides in the town, as well as supporting as many other good causes as she can.
She said: 'Motiv8 aims to improve the life chances of young people - last year the charity celebrated its 20th anniversary and they really impressed me with what they do.
'Their achievements have been amazing, helping so many young people to realise their potential.
'My goal is to raise enough money to put a second floor on their existing building in Toronto Place.'
Above all else, Cllr Jones insists she is 'just a humble servant of the town' - and vows to do all she can to help those less fortunate, with plans already in motion to further help the homeless and events to benefit a vast number of charities.
Speaking in support of the mayor, Cllr Stephen Philpott said: 'Our new mayor is a builder, businesswoman, psychologist and a healer - just what we need in this day and age.'
Outgoing mayor Cllr Diane Furlong believes Cllr Jones will make a great replacement.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, she said: 'I've had an amazing year and it's been a fantastic opportunity.
'I have appreciated being given the chance to do this and learn more about the great work of charities across this town.
'I cannot thank people enough for their support.'