DORCHESTER’S next first citizen says she hopes to put young people at the forefront during her mayoral year.

Members were told at a meeting of Dorchester Town Council that Stella Jones had been selected as the mayor for 2013/14.

The long serving councillor, who will be embarking on her third stint as mayor of the county town, will be handed the mayoral robe and chain by current incumbent Andy Canning at a ceremony in May.

Coun Jones, pictured right, who has represented the town on West Dorset District Council for 40 years and joined the town council in 1979, said she was hoping to give youngsters a voice when she takes office.

She said: “I’m hoping to involve young people more in shaping the future of the town.”

Coun Jones, who has also been mayoress to husband and fellow town councillor Trevor on three occasions, added that she was looking forward to meeting representatives of the many charitable groups and good causes in the town during her year as mayor.

She said: “I think there are a lot of small charities in Dorchester and I would like to highlight their work. There are some big ones that everybody knows about but there are a lot of volunteers working for small charities and I would like to raise their profiles if I can.”

Coun Jones said Dorchester has changed a great deal since she was first elected as a councillor but she is still proud to represent her local community.

She said: “I have seen lots of changes but it’s still a good community to live in.”

The mother of four and grandmother to eight has also represented her town at Dorset County Council level in the past and was a teacher at Damers First School before retiring.

Coun Canning, who is coming to the end of his first stint as mayor, will assist Coun Jones as her deputy next year. The current deputy mayor Coun Tess James told members at the full council meeting that she was ‘delighted’ to announce Coun Jones’s appointment as mayor for next year.