HALSTEAD’S new mayor has praised the town’s “fantastic community spirit” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mick Radley was elected mayor of Halstead and chairman of the town council at a virtual meeting on Monday.

Outgoing mayor Andy Munday had served in the role for two years.

He said “I’d like to thank all the staff and members of council that have supported me over the last two years.

“I’d especially like to thank my secretary, Sheenagh, for keeping me on track and my deputy, Mick Radley, for his support and counsel.

“I wish the new mayor every success in the future.”

Mr Radley said: “It’s a great honour to have been elected by my fellow councillors to represent the council and the residents of Halstead as mayor and chairman for the coming year.

“On behalf of the council and the residents of Halstead, I would like to thank Andy Munday for his two years as mayor of Halstead.

“During this period he has represented Halstead and supported local organisations with great commitment and dedication.

“He has also championed initiatives to improve the town and raised much-needed funds for good causes through the mayor’s charity.

“My election has come during a period of unusual and challenging times for all of us in Halstead.

“On behalf of the council I would first of all like to say a big thank you to everyone who has given, and is still giving, their time and dedication to helping and supporting the residents of Halstead during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Whether it’s the truly courageous commitment of NHS staff or the many support services and volunteers, I’m sure we have all heard of many acts of kindness and dedication.

“We all owe them our thanks and gratitude.

“I’m aware of local groups and individuals who have volunteered to undertake a wide range of tasks to help and support residents through these difficult times.

“Halstead is blessed with a fantastic community spirit which I’m sure will serve us well in the coming weeks and months as we slowly return to some degree of normality.”

Mr Radley thanked town clerk Sarah Greatorex for leading a group of 40 volunteers providing support to more than 80 residents in need.

He added: “Halstead has a diverse and dedicated group of volunteer councillors and a great team of staff whose heart is in doing the best for the town and its residents.

“We will do our best to serve the community now and in the future.

“We are all facing challenging times but I’m sure with the mutual support of each other and the great Halstead community spirit we will come through this and be able to return to better times.”

Dave Gronland is the council’s new vice-chairman.