THE new chairman for Selby District Council has officially started his duties.

Councillor John Cattanach took on the role at the annual council meeting this week, and was nominated by fellow councillors to take the lead at community events and officiate full council meetings.

Cllr Cattanach, a lifelong Selby resident whose grandfather Albert Cryer received Maundy Money at Selby Abbey in 1969 said: "I am extremely honoured to hold this position within the council for the next year. The role of chairman is an important one both for the council and for the community. I hope to use this opportunity to raise much-needed funds for the charities I have chosen, which are extremely close to my heart. These charities make a huge difference to many people in the district."

He thanked his predecessor, Cllr Michael Dyson, and said he would enjoy the challenges and the opportunities the next year would bring.

For the last few years, Cllr Cattanach has led a community appeal to save the 42 bus route, which serves Cawood, Wistow, Kelfield, Stillingfleet and Naburn, after funding was withdrawn by North Yorkshire County Council.

Through negotiations with NYCC and Arriva, and with support from parish councils, the Eastern Community Engagement Forum and Naburn Lock Caravan Park, a number of weekend and Bank Holiday services have been reinstated for the benefit of local communities.

Coun Cattanach will be chairman for the next twelve months and has chosen Selby District Vision, St Leonard's Hospice and York Against Cancer as his nominated charities for the year.

He will be assisted by Cllr Richard Sweeting, who has taken the position of Vice Chair of Selby District Council.