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A NEW Southend mayor will be elected in a traditional ceremony this week.

Hundreds of council officials, residents, family members and friends have been invited to attend the Civic Centre in Victoria Avenue, Southend, to witness the official inauguration of Eastwood Park councillor Chris Walker as mayor at 3.30pm on Thursday.

Mr Walker, who was appointed deputy mayor in 2013, takes over as first citizen of the borough from his Conservative colleague, Brian Kelly.

The retired funeral director, whowas first elected to the council in May 1997, is the borough’s 94th mayor and will be assisted in his mayoral duties by his wife, Janet.

Mr Walker chairs the council’s general purposes committee and is vice-chairman of the public transport and buses working party.

Together with these posts, he serves on a total of 22 council committees and working parties.

He also represents the council on Essex Heritage Trust, the board of council housing management organisation South Essex Homes and Southend Arts Council.