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FERNDOWN councillors have unanimously elected the town’s youngest-ever mayor.

Cllr Mike Parkes, who was just 26 when he joined the council, will take on the role for the next year.

Now aged 41, the on-call firefighter has served on every committee with the exception of planning, and said he was “honoured” to be nominated.

“Having lived in and around Ferndown for all of my life, I have seen the town grow from a village as it was in my childhood, through to the large thriving town it is today,” he said.

“Outside the day-to-day town council business, my priorities as mayor will be primarily to support events and organisations within the Ferndown authority.”

Cllr Parkes has always lived in Ferndown and has a lifelong link with the 1st Ferndown Scouts.

Until recently, he was also a county commissioner for the group, and in 2011 was elected to represent the south of England on the Scout Association’s UK Board of Trustees.

After accepting the role, the councillor told his colleagues: “As you know, I have a long-standing interest in youth work and it will come as no surprise that my mayor’s charity will be based around this theme.

“Therefore, I am pleased to announce my mayor’s charity will be Active Youth of Ferndown, through which I will be raising money to fund activity equipment for the recognised charitable youth organisations within the town.”

Cllr Parkes has worked in the civil service since leaving school.

For the last 17 years, he has been based at Bovington, and works as a compliance manager for the Ministry of Defence.

Additionally, he has been a retained fireman at Ferndown Fire Station for the past 19 years.

Cllr Tony Brown was elected as deputy mayor during the same meeting.

Although he has only been a member of the council since 2012, he is co-ordinating this year’s first Ferndown Festival, which will kick off with the second annual pram race on June 21.