Councillor Carey Keates says he is "very much looking forward to the year ahead" after being selected as the new Mayor of Hertsmere.

The Bushey representative replaces Paul Morris and will serve as the city’s first citizen for 12 months.

Kenyan-born Keates was unanimously elected at a full council meeting last night at the civic offices in Borehamwood.

Hertsmere’s new deputy mayor councillor Martin Worster was also elected to the role without any objections.

Councillor Keates was nominated by conservative councillor Linda Silver, who said his background shows what an "interesting" man he is.

The Bushey St James representative was bought up in Nyeri, Kenya and after leaving school wanted to become a soldier.

However after contracting a long term kidney disease, a military career was ruled out and Mr Keates went on to work for London gun maker Holland and Holland.

Upon seeing an advert to become an estate agent in the Watford Observer, Councillor Keates took up the role and became manager after six months.

He retired in 2010 and along with being a founding member of the Bushey Forum, Mr Keates is currently chairman of the Bushey Musuem Trust.

Councillor Keates, who served as deputy mayor under Councillor Paul Morris OBE, told a packed gallery in his first speech as mayor: "Having had such an enjoyable year as deputy and with the encouragement and support of the leader Morris Bright and the mayor Paul Morris I finally agreed to consider mayor.

"I hope I shall prove worthy of their confidence.

"One is always aware of one’s predecessor and Paul has been what I call a 110 percent man. So following him is somewhat daunting and also an inspiration.

"I am very much looking forward to the year ahead."

Councillor Keates said he wanted to particularly thank councillor Linda Silver who originally suggested that he should stand for mayoral deputy last year.

Bushey Heath councillor Paul Morris said his time as mayor had been a "whirlwind" and he was happy to have raised more than £45,000 for his two chosen charities, the Langdon Foundation and The Ben Kinsella Trust.

The 63-year-old made more than 200 visits to local schools in his term.

He said: "When I became mayor 13 months ago I was determined to focus my attention on community issues and to use my time to understand more closely the impact on our high street that in several respects are no longer fit for purpose.

"So I’m thrilled that I will now be able to focus my attention on addressing these issues.

"As a borough we are truly blessed to know our residents live in the happiest place in Hertfordshire and it should be an inspiration to us all."

Meanwhile, Mr Worster said he was thrilled to become deputy mayor.

The conservative councillor said he was "delighted" at the support he had received.

He said: "I know in my heart I won’t let you down. I will do my level best to help everyone in the borough."

Councillor Keates has chosen two charities for his year in office - Hertsmere Mencap which supports learning disabled people and the Kidney Research UK.

Mr Keates said both charities are "dear" to him, especially Kidney Research UK after he received a transplant from one of his daughters."

Henry Kimbell, Community Fundraising Manager for Kidney Research UK, said: "It was a pleasure to meet the new Mayor, Carey Keates, who has generously adopted Kidney Research UK as Hertsmere Borough Council’s national charity of the year.

"This partnership will help raise awareness of kidney disease, which affects around 55,000 people every year. We’re looking forward to organising some exciting fundraising activities over the coming months, and any money raised will help fund vital research into kidney disease, which does not have a cure."