A new mayor has been elected after the Liberal Democrats took control of Carterton Town Council for first time in nearly 40 years.

Lib Dems won nine of the 16 seats on the council in the local elections on May 4.

Carterton Town Council has been under Conservative control since it was first formed in 1985.

Local resident Kathy Godwin, one of a number of fresh faces elected, is the town's new mayor.

Liz Wood, who was first elected last September, is her deputy.

Both were candidates for the Liberal Democrat party.

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Ms Godwin said: “This is a new future for Carterton. We will consult, inform and listen to our residents. We encourage and welcome their involvement and contribution to our plans for our town and community."

Ms Wood said: "It’s a privilege to be asked to serve the community as deputy mayor. I hope to work with everyone on the town council no matter what their political background, with respect and integrity for the good of our community.”

At the Annual Town Meeting on May 16, long-time resident Doreen Clarke said: “I hope we can see four big changes. I hope the public will once more be made to feel welcome here. I hope that the arrogance and rudeness that we witnessed will now stop. I hope that the council and the public will be able to work together to rebuild our little town — which is in a mess."

Tensions have been running high over the town council's support for a plan to build a large modern pavilion with changing rooms and a multi-use hall on Carterton Recreation Ground off Alvescot Road.

It said the existing pavilion was dilapidated and uneconomical to maintain and repair.

But critics, some of who started the Save Our Rec campaign, argued that the land was given to the people of Carterton for recreational use by the town’s founder William Carter who stipulated it should not be built on.

The Tories were also accused of trying to claim credit for a "game changing" new upgrade to Carterton Football Club which includes a new artificial football pitch, as well as a community hall and pavilion.

In November the town council publicised that it had voted unanimously to give the club the 30-year lease it needed to obtain the grant funding to create the facility.

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But the club said the Conservative-led council, which owns the land, had "consistently blocked and delayed" it from renewing its lease for over three years.

Mrs Clarke added: "And please God may those plans for the new pavilion be finally thrown in the bin — where they belong.

"And also might I suggest that in future every councillor is asked to read the Carterton Charter so that they will understand that the Rec belongs to the people of Carterton — for ever.

"You are just the caretakers on our behalf. We tell you what we want done with our Rec, not the other way around.”

Ms Wood said people at the meeting had welcomed "the positive atmosphere".

“I am looking forward to a positive future working in partnership with residents to improve our wonderful town," she said.