A FAMILIAR face has taken up the mantle as Mayor of Banbury, a role that will leave him – and plenty of others in the town – with a sense of déjà vu.

Town councillor Colin Clarke was elected to the post for 2017/18 at a formal ceremony last month after previous mayor Gordon Ross stepped down.

It will be the second time the retired police officer, who was born in Banbury in 1948 and has lived in the town ever since, has taken up the role following his time in office in 2010/11.

Mr Clarke, of Foscote Rise, said: "It's a bit unusual. Normally we only do it once but virtually all the councillors have been town mayor now.

"I didn’t expect to get a second year in office but the opportunity has come along and I am very happy to accept the honour.

"The Mayoress, my wife Jenifer, will help me just as she did seven years ago and I will again rely on her for encouragement and assistance."

Mr Clarke is the Conservative councillor for Calthorpe South and also serves as the lead member for planning on Cherwell District Council.

He said he was unfazed at the prospect of juggling two elected roles with ceremonial engagements, adding: "Boredom does not enter my vocabulary.

"The consolation is that my time is my own. I can pick and choose as much as possible and divide myself equally."

In a further break with tradition Mr Clarke has decided not to choose a Banbury charity to support upfront over the next 12 months.

Previous mayor Gordon Ross spent the year fundraising for the Banbury Citizens Advice Bureau and the Samaritans, also donating to the Lions Club of Banbury.

Mr Clarke said: "I'm going to wait and see who I think is deserving towards the end of my year.

"We all know how much good work – often unrewarded good work – goes on within our many charitable organisations and community groups, and I will make every effort to support these good causes in any way I can."

Three local cadets, Oliver Cragoe-Hills (Sea Cadets), Michael De-Haviland (Army Cadets), and Joshua Lee (Air Cadets) have each received a badge of office and will march with Mr Clarke at official parades and civic functions throughout the year.