A THRIVING town lies ahead for Pickering, believes Coun Jo Andrews, the deputy mayor, who has been named as the new Town Mayor.

Coun Jo Andrews, who is also a member of Ryedale District Council, and succeeds Coun Sue Cowan, says she is anxious to see the big community part, being developed as part of the David Wilson Homes estate, become a reality. "It is a long term project but it will have many benefits to people of all ages in the town, with its allotments, green gym, children's facilities and open space areas."

The council is due to take over ownership of the 20 acre park in Whitby Road late this year.

Parking issues have still to be resolved in the town centre she added. "Pickering is a very popular place withtourists and residents and it is good that we have so many individual shops, such as three traditional butchers, a good weekly market, and now the Pickering Business Group is making strides and winning support for its ambitions to boost the local economy."

Coun Andrews, a member of the town council for four years, has brought up five children, Jake Max, Ruby, Glory and Harvey with her partner, Nick d'Alquen and is involved in various organisations especially at the Memorial Hall where she works part-time. "Since its restoriation the hall has gone from strength to strength. It is in use virtually every day by one of the many local organisations and for events," said Coun Andrews. "It is a well-used asset which enhances life in Pickering for so many people."

With new housing schemes in Pickering, she sees it as an opportunity for more people to become involved in volunteering with its many organisations.

Her family's involvement in local bands keeps her busy, often acting as a taxi service. "Pickering has an excellent cultural life, with its Kirk Theatre concerts, Memorial Hall activities and the Stape Brass Band," said Coun Andrews.

"I love the sence of community Pickering offers and the abundance of volunteers of all ages who make it such a fantastic place both to visit and live."

The new deputy mayor will be Coun Joan Lovejoy, a former Town Mayor. Both will be installed at the council's annual meeting later this month.