A MIDWIFE has become the new town mayor of Winsford.

Mum-of-three Swanlow ward Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones was elected at the annual town council meeting last night.

It is her second time to hold this office having served as mayor in 2015-2016.

Retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis presented her with the chain of office at an investment ceremony in the Cheshire West and Chester Council chamber at Wyvern House.

Winsford Guardian:

Retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis presents new mayor Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones with the chain of office

Cllr Gaskill-Jones said: "It is a great privilege to be elected mayor again. I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing mayor Cllr Gina Lewis.She has been an excellent ambassador for the town.

"My themes this year will be the history and heritage of the town. There is a great interest and enthusiasm for the history of Winsford.

"My other theme is nurturing our future. My day job is as a midwife and I work regularly with vulnerable families. I want to focus on those families who need additional support."

To fulfil her mission, she has chosen three charities, Motherwell, Cheshire Young Carers and Cotswold House.

Winsford Guardian:

Mayor Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones has chosen three charities, Motherwell, Cheshire Young Carers and Cotswold House

"Motherwell was founded in 2015 to focus on mental health and women," she said. "They support women of all ages with counselling, mentoring and peer groups."

A new service to help women aged 14 to 18 with low esteem, anxiety and other difficulties, is being developed.

Cheshire Young Carers currently supports 93 young people in Winsford but many more are believed to be helping their families at home.

"There could be up to 850 young carers in Winsford," she said.

Cotswold House provides training, counselling and practical help and accommodation for homeless young women.

Cllr Gaskill-Jones added: "I want to provide an opportunity to raise the profile and funds to support their work in the town."

Councillor Gaskill-Jones' husband Matthew will act as her consort.

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford's new town mayor Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones and her husband Matthew who will act as her consort

Cllr Don Beckett was elected as deputy mayor.

Winsford Guardian:

Deputy mayor Cllr Don Beckett and mayor Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones

Retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis reflected on her term in office. She said: My year has been varied and interesting. I have been fortunate to be part of a number of anniversaries including 100 years since the end of World War One, 70 years since the birth of the NHS and 100 years since women got the vote."

Remembrance Sunday was ecumenical this year, she said, and bigger than ever.

Winsford Guardian:

Retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis presents a cheque for the Alzheimer's Society to Jackie Brown from Brightlife

Cllr Lewis said one of her highlights was attending the Prince's Trust graduation ceremonies where young people aged 16-25 are motivated to learn new skills and gain confidence.

"It is wonderful," she said. "They are so full of hope and self-esteem from their finding a way forward."

Cllr Lewis presented cheques to the Royal British Legion and the Alzheimer's Society.

Winsford Guardian:

Retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis presents a cheque to Geoff Beetham from the Royal British Legion in Winsford

"Both these charities are very close to my heart," she said. "I did the Poppy Walk in Liverpool and the Alzheimer's Walk and raised over £400 in the first two weeks.

Winsford Guardian:

Mayor Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones presents a past mayor's badge to retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis to mark her term in office

"I also revived the Beating the Bounds, walking 15 miles around Winsford. It was an opportunity to see just how beautiful this place is."

Cllr Lewis was presented with a past mayor's badge, a bouquet of flowers and a photograph album of her term in office.

Winsford Guardian:

Retiring mayor Cllr Gina Lewis is presented with a bouquet of flowers by town clerk Mark Bailey