Skipton'S own Dick Whittington arrived in town nine years ago with all his worldly goods in one bag and in true fairytale rags to riches style, he found himself a wife and was crowned mayor last Thursday.

At 34, Coun Paul English is believed to be Skipton's youngest ever mayor and said that while he might not have been born in the town, it was the place he now called home.

Following his election Coun English said his success proved that people could do anything they set their mind to and he was proud to represent the town.

He thought 2003-4 was going to be a strong year for Skipton with the launch of the renaissance town initiative.

"It is time for Skipton to start moving and time to start producing things our residents want and deserve," he said.

Coun English announced that his charity for the year would be orthopaedic services at Airedale Hospital.

He said that after spending time in hospital following an accident several years ago he vowed that one day he would do something to say thank you.

He thanked retiring mayor Coun Andrew Rankine. "If Skipton ever had a better ambassador I would like to see it," he told him.

Coun Marcia Turner was elected deputy mayor.

There will be a chance for everyone to meet Coun English during the town's first mayor-making ceremony on Monday.

At 10.30am, he and his wife Polly, who will act as mayoress, will parade through the town with their arrival being announced by town crier Kevin Griffiths.

The ceremony will be followed by tea and scones in the town hall annexe.

The annual mayor-making ceremony has been launched to help make local people aware of who their mayor is and to encourage local residents to become interested in local politics.

This year will see big changes for Skipton Town Council following a review and restructure of the town's ward boundaries.

The number of wards have been reduced from six to four - north, south, east and west - with four councillors representing each ward.

This re-organisation was to streamline the structure and to ensure there were approximately the same number of electors in each ward.

The council has restructured its committees to reflect this.

In a bid to improve the balance and the efficiency on the four town council committees, the council has swapped political balance in favour of geographical balance and has selected two councillors from each ward for each committee.

They feel that this will ensure that every area is fairly represented and will bring knowledge of every ward to every committee.

The committees are finance and audit, public relations and civic events, public amenities, and environment, planning and safety.

Meanwhile the council clerk Andrea Adams and deputy clerk Pat Daley have both announced that they wish to stand down.

Mrs Adams is likely to leave almost immediately due to personal reasons and Mrs Daley has expressed a wish to retire later in the year.