By Community Correspondent Anjali Parshotam On our way up the stairs to the public gallery in Hounslow’s Civic Centre, waiting to watch the Mayor-making event, completely lost, I question whether I should wait here or find out where exactly the venue takes place.

“Are you lost, girls?” a gentleman in a smart grey suit stops me and asks. I inform him that I’m here with a friend to attend the Mayor-making event but we are clueless as to where it takes place. “Well, I can help you there, seeing as I will be the Mayor in approximately 20 minutes!” he replies. In complete awe and embarrassment, we follow him into the gallery and take our seats- tonight’s evening is going to be quite interesting, we think to ourselves.

This week, on Tuesday, Hounslow waved farewell to last year’s Mayor, Mayor Paul Lynch, in order to welcome the latest addition to Hounslow’s borough council- Mayor Colin Ellar. According to the website, the role of Mayor of Hounslow is to chair Borough Council meetings, attend and organise community events and represent the council in the local community as the borough’s “first citizen”. A Mayor for Hounslow is elected every year, bringing more creative and passionate ideas to the table.

Mayor Paul Lynch left his position as Mayor, adding that his most pleasant experiences of being the Mayor were the times when he received “the feeling of surprise of meeting people you’ve never met before and they’re genuinely pleased to see you, a feeling that I will take with me and cherish”.

Mayor Paul Lynch concluded that “I have had some wacky ideas being the Mayor;” however one of his many great ideas was the introduction to the Mayor’s Challenge, a programme that he hopes “will be encouraged as an annual event”. This year, Mayor Lynch encouraged students in schools across the borough, to design a new mayoral mace stand, in the hopes that their designs will be brought to life with the help of manufacturing company, Burgess and Co. This year’s winner, Aaron Plank from Feltham Community College won the challenge and had the opportunity to see his product in the gallery.

Before the clock struck eight, the labour party of Hounslow (who gained the majority of votes in this constituency) nominated Mayor Colin Ellar and explained why he is the best man to represent Hounslow. After thorough deliberation and no-one opposing this idea, the gallery’s Councillors beckoned “AGREED!” and the spectators respectfully stood, to watch him enter the gallery. Mayor Ellar bows down before the mace that rests on Aaron’s stand and is guided to his new chair in the centre of the chamber. He informed the gallery as to how pleased he was to receive such an honourable position. He added that over the upcoming year, he hopes “to enjoy this year and work alongside not only my Deputy Poonam Dhillon, but co-operate with all offices and parties.”

Every year each Mayor must fulfil a traditional charitable role, where he/she must set up an appeal and raise money for charities. This year, Mayor Ellar is prepared for this role and has encouraged citizens to do more charitable work across the borough. He has chosen two specific charities that he will work closely with - the first being Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey. This hospice is one very dear to his heart and in the previous years, Mayor Ellar volunteered there as a van driver. Also, Mayor Ellar wants to work with a non UK based project, ASIA, an aid organisation that focuses on giving aid to people in the Himalayan regions.

Mayor Lynch will be a tough act to follow, but I have every faith in the new Mayor of Hounslow, Mayor Ellar, to have a positive influence on the citizens and the welfare of Hounslow and represent Hounslow well over the coming year.