COLCHESTER’S new mayor had to suffer a nervous wait before finally being sworn in.

John Elliott, a Tiptree borough councillor since 1995, spent the last year as deputy mayor in expectation of taking over the mayoral robes and badge from Colin Sykes.

Mr Elliott had a scare at last month’s local elections when a strong Ukip challenge nearly toppled him – but fell 85 votes short.

Tory Mr Elliott was sworn in during a ceremony at the Moot Hall yesterday.

He said: “When I saw them sorting the votes, I realised it was going to be very close, but in the end it came out right. It would have been disappointing for me, and for a lot of people who had been working to get ready for this year.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to it.’’

Mr Elliott was joined by Janet, his wife of 48 years and his mayoress, children Karen, Denise and Kevin and three of six grandchildren.

Mr Elliott’s charities for the year are the Friends of Tiptree Heath, soldiers’ charity the ABF, Grassroots, Essex Air Ambulance, Action for Family Carers and Marie Curie, which supported his son-in-law before he died two years ago.

He will also support the borough’s volunteers. He said: “If anybody is volunteering, if I can help promote what they’re doing I will.’’

Theresa Higgins, a Lib Dem councillor serving New Town, was nominated deputy mayor, with husband and fellow councillor Peter her escort.

A vote of thanks was passed to outgoing mayor Mr Sykes and mayoress Laura Sykes.