Councillor Avtar Sandhu MBE has been elected as the 36th mayor of Dartford for the coming year.

A Dartford resident for 45 years, Cllr Sandhu told the News Shopper that his main aim for his mayoral year is to spend as much time in the community and possible promoting local businesses and supporting his 31 mayoral charities.

He said: "If I can walk away at the end of the year having left a legacy of my own, supported local businesses and made an impact in the local community having kept costs as low as possible then I will be proud of my time as mayor."

A former student at Leigh Technology Academy, then called The Downs School, Cllr Sandhu has been a Dartford councillor since 2011 and was elected to serve Dartford North East in the Kent County Council elections in 2009.

He also runs a business in the area, Amar Hall a hospitality centre in East Hill, and is a former director of Dartford FC.

During his first official engagement, helping to promote Charlie and Lola's Extemely New Play which is coming to the theatre on May 26 and 27, Cllr Sandhu praised the theatre's work saying: "The Orchard is a hub. I come a lot myself and I think it is a fantastic place for the town."

A self-confessed 'community man' Cllr Sandhu is very much looking forward to taking on his new role, saying: "I am a Dartford boy born and bred and Dartford is in my heart.

"This is a momentous occasion. If I can fulfil everybody's dreams, that's what I want to do."

The father-of-two will be supported in his role by his wife Suhk as mayoress.