NEWLY-ELECTED Watford Mayor Sybil Tuckwood was applauded by friends, colleagues and members of the public who, on Monday evening, filled the small hall in Watford's Colosseum, to witness the official presentation of the chain of office.

Councillor Tuckwood beamed to the crowd who greeted her with generous cheers and applause as she accepted the mayoral robe and chain of ceremony from the former Watford Mayor, Councillor Ian Brown with this year's elected Mayoress, Councillor Sheila Rosser.

Members of the audience mused at the familiar site of the two prominent figures decked in red, who ironically stood beside each other in 1997, when each were elected for the reverse roles.

In her speech of acceptance, Councillor Tuckwood announced this year's mayoral charity as The Sanctuary a charity which provides emergency accommodation for the homeless at The Watford New Hope Trust in St Mary's Road, Watford.

Councillor Tuckwood, who has lived in Watford for more than 40 years, said: "Sadly, there are still many people who would like to turn a blind eye to those sleeping rough on the streets of Watford. The homeless do exist in Watford, they need our help and at The Sanctuary they get that help."

"I will endeavour alongside Sheila, my mayoress, to support my charity and look forward to the many prospective fundraising events."

Mr Basil Lazenby, a director of the mayor's chosen charity, which since opening two years ago, has provided emergency accommodation for more than 9,000 homeless people said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as this year's charity, which will be of huge benefit not only from a fundraising point of view, but also in raising The Sanctuary's profile, which we are always in need of."

Former Watford Mayor, Councillor Ian Brown, said: "I would like to thank everyone who has supported and helped us both throughout our term in office."