The new mayor of Helston has set out his priorities for the town over the next year.

Tim Grattan-Kane was elected as mayor and head of the town council at a ceremony in the Central Methodist Church, rather than the Guildhall, due to social distancing regulations.

Describing his election as a "great honour and privilege," Mr Grattan-Kane said one of his focuses this year would be on supporting the young people of Helston.

"The last year has proved a particular challenge for the youth of the town. Their reference points in life were all sadly removed – schools, clubs, churches, other leisure activities. The sheer fact they couldn't socialise.

"As a community we need to work together to provide special attention to our young. They're our future," he said.

Mr Grattan-Kane said he was proud of Helston's response to the pandemic, setting up a community support service and helpline very early on – the town's emergency plan having only been adopted just one month earlier. At one point there were 350 members of the public volunteering for it.

He described the generosity shown as a "great example for all" but went on to add: "Unfortunately the pandemic has also generated a degree of intolerance from some members of the community."

He urged people: "Please be nice to others."

New Helston mayor Tim Grattan-Kane is given a Covid-friendly arm bump by retiring mayor John Martin Picture: Peter Lavelle

New Helston mayor Tim Grattan-Kane is given a Covid-friendly arm bump by retiring mayor John Martin Picture: Peter Lavelle

Mr Grattan-Kane also spoke of desire to get more people involved in the community they lived in.

With around 12,500 people in Helston, he pointed out that if 10,000 of those could be encouraged to volunteer one hour a month that would "120,000 hours devoted to our community."

Mr Grattan-Kane moved to Helston aged eight and was a pupil at Parc Eglos School and then Helston School. He then moved away to lead a distinguished career in the police force, including with the Metropolitan Police, ending up as detective chief inspector, before returning to Helston, which he has always considered his home town.

He played a large part in bringing many of Helston's defibrillators to the town through his work with the Andrew Oliver Big Heart Fund and training people to use them through the Heart Start scheme.

A former president of Helston Rotary Club, he is also a Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary.

One of his first steps as mayor was to welcome Helston's newly elected town councillors, Melissa Benyon, Anthony Gilbert, Gareth Looker, Samuel Ramsden, Carlton Real and Peter Webb, and paid tribute to councillors Nicola Roberts, Ron Edgcumbe and Gillian Geer who had decided not to stand.

He also welcome new Cornwall councillor Guy Foreman, joining Mike Thomas in serving Helston at county level.

Miles Kenchington (right) is given the deputy mayors chain by new mayor Tim Grattan-Kane

Miles Kenchington (right) is given the deputy mayor's chain by new mayor Tim Grattan-Kane

Mr Grattan-Kane paid tribute to his predecessor, John Martin, who he said had performed "thousand of hours in the service of this town," during his three years as mayor.

He described him as "man who has been generous with his town, friendly to absolutely everybody" and told Mr Martin: "We are all grateful for your service."

Mr Grattan-Kane was proposed for the role by Mr Martin, who said: "I am proposing him because of his service to the town and his strength as a deputy mayor over the last three years, where he has quite often performed the duties on my behalf."

This was seconded by councillor Rev Danny Reed, who said: "Those who know Tim know he is an ideas man.

"I would consider him a caring man, who puts the needs of others first and is prepared to work hard for others. Tim is more than capable."

Councillor Miles Kenchington was elected as deputy mayor and Canon David Miller of St Michael's Church was appointed mayor's chaplain, taking over from Methodist minister and councillor Rev Danny Reed.

Retiring mayor Mr Martin was presented with a town plaque for his service to the town.