THE new Mayor of Christchurch was praised for her ‘grit and determination’ at a special ceremony this week.

Cllr Denise Jones, who represents Grange ward, was named as Mayor of Christchurch at the annual council meeting held at Highcliffe Castle on Tuesday.

Proposer, fellow Grange ward councillor Paul Hilliard, said: “It is clear that her life and enjoyment are from helping people; in early life through her church and teaching and now through local government.

“Denise has recently fought bouts of cancer and continues a long battle with MS.

“She is a workaholic and rushes round to community meetings and committees.

“Denise treats being a councillor as an honour and a privilege and I hope people’s awareness of MS is increased by her example of mind over matter.”

Cllr Peter Hall, who seconded the motion, described Cllr Jones as a “fighter, who is the ideal person to head this council as First Citizen”.

He said she had achieved a great deal for her Grange ward residents and added: “She has the support of this council and the community.”

Cllr Jones said: “I must congratulate the retiring Mayor and Mayoress, John Lofts and Margaret Woolley, for the sterling work they have done in being such excellent ambassadors for our Borough during their Mayoral Year. They will be a very hard act to follow.

“However, we will endeavour to work for the benefit of everyone in our borough and to promote Christchurch whenever possible, to the best of our ability.”

Her charities for the coming year will be the Royal British Legion, Dorset Cancer Centre and the soon to open Somerford Arc. Cllr Denise Jones’ husband, Cllr David Jones, will be her consort.