Marlow’s outgoing mayor said he was “honoured and privileged” to have represented the town over the past two years as he handed over the chains to the new mayor on Tuesday.

Cllr Bob Johnson paid tribute to the “fantastic” community in the town as his deputy, Cllr Jocelyn Towns, became the new mayor on May 16.

More than 50 residents attended a public ceremony in the General Higginson room at Court Garden to see the mayoral chains officially handed over.

Thanking his family, fellow councillors and residents of the town, Cllr Johnson said: “It has been an honour to represent all of you over the last two years.

“Marlow is a fantastic town because of the people who live in it. The organisations, the churches, the sports clubs, the societies all contribute to making Marlow a fantastic community.

“Being mayor is a serious position and I have been really, really privileged.”

Commenting on the importance of Marlow’s history, he said: “We need to embrace change while making sure we protect Marlow’s heritage. The town has great history and the great organisations of the town do their best to retain its character and ambience.

“We can’t stop change and we welcome your ideas, we want to hear constructive suggestions on how we can control change for the good of the residents. We want to make sure Marlow continues to be the best place in the UK to live and work.”

After taking the chains from her predecessor following a vote by fellow councillors, newly-appointed Mayor Towns thanked Cllr Johnson and his wife Shirley for their “sterling” work over the last two years and presented Cllr Johnson with a past mayor’s badge and his wife with flowers.

Cllr Towns previously served as mayor in 2011 and again in 2012, having lived in the town since 1996. Her chosen charity for the year is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Addressing the audience, she said: “It is an absolute honour to be voted in as Town Mayor again and I will serve Marlow to the best of my ability. I said it some five years ago and it’s still true - Marlow is a lovely town and I am very proud to represent it. Bob will be a hard act to follow but I will do my best.”

Marlow Town Council clerk, Annie Jones, was also presented with a bunch of flowers ahead of her retirement at the end of this month, while new clerk, Hilary Martin, was also present at the meeting.