HIGH Wycombe's new mayor Cllr Valerie Razzaq says her sons are thrilled she has chosen to follow in her late husband's footsteps.

Cllr Razzaq, 64, will take over the mayoral chain from Saturday - almost 20 years after her husband, Mohammed Razzaq, was town mayor.

Mr Razzaq was mayor between 1988 and 1989 and his wife served alongside him as mayoress. But she is set to step into the main role this weekend after receiving a unanimous vote from the town's Charter Trustees.

Cllr Razzaq (Con), of Oakridge Road, High Wycombe, won a seat in the Booker and Cressex ward last Friday after a tense battle with UKIP candidate Brian Pearce.

The two were locked at 410 votes each but after five recounts she emerged as the winner when her name was pulled out of a hat.

If she had not won the Wycombe District Council seat, it would have stopped her from being mayor altogether.

She said: "It was everybody else who was saying Razz Mohammed Razzaq was looking down on you'.

"I didn't feel anything, I was just so numb. The only thing I was thinking was that I have never been lucky - that it was going to be congratulations Brian'."

Cllr Razzaq said she was surprised to get as many votes as she did after switching from the Sands ward to contest Booker and Cressex.

She had three sons with her late husband and believes he would have been surprised to see her become mayor, as he held a traditional view of women staying at home.

But she said her boys were immensely proud. She said: "I don't think he ever thought I would ever do it. I never showed any indication that I was interested when he was a councillor.

"I was left to get on with things at home and he was out in the community. I used to say to him weekends are our time', and they were.

"They are absolutely thrilled to bits. They keep on saying dad would be so proud of you' - but I don't know, he was Victorian. He was not a horrible person, he was absolutely wonderful - the love of my life and he still is."

Mr Razzaq retired from local politics before he died on April 17, 1999 - the date of his wedding anniversary. He was taken ill suddenly and suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Meanwhile, Cllr Razzaq said she would not be following in her husband's footsteps by raising money for Scannappeal through her mayoral appeal and had not yet picked a charity or cause to support.

During his year in office Mr Razzaq made more than £60,000 for the charity to buy a diagnostic machine, which works hand in hand with the scanners used to diagnose and detect various diseases.

Cllr Razzaq said: "They said they needed a diagnostic console. They wanted £35,000 for that so we said we'll order it now and just hope to get it, but we got over £60,000. We gave them the rest of the money for film for the scanner because they're so expensive."

She added she had no such plans for this kind of campaign yet. "I shall just ticker along," she said, "all I want in my mayoral year is for peace and harmony and for everybody to enjoy themselves."