YORK'S new Lord Mayor has today begun his year in office as Labour formally took council control in the city.

Acomb councillor David Horton was appointed as York's civic figurehead for a year which will mark the 800th anniversary of the city receiving its Royal Charter.

It will be the second time the 69-year-old has held the role, with his wife Jane becoming Lady Mayoress and his chosen charities being York Against Cancer and York and District Mind.

Coun John Galvin will be deputy Lord Mayor and Coun Horton's close friend Alan Deller will be Sheriff of York for 2011/12, with his wife Ann being Sheriff's Lady.

"My vision will be to be use the office to benefit the city economically, through contacts with both incoming and York-based businesses," Coun Horton said at the Guildhall ceremony where he took office.

"I will also work with as many young citizens as possible to make them aware of the proud history of the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of York."

Labour, which claimed overall control of City of York Council at this month's local elections, now officially takes command of the authority, with its leader, 29-year-old Holgate councillor James Alexander, becoming the UK's youngest council chief.

"I am immensely proud and will work tirelessly to repay the people of York," he said.

"From today, City of York Council is under new management."

The annual meeting of the council also saw appointments to Labour's cabinet and the authority's various committees rubber-stamped, with Couns Ian Gillies, Carol Runciman and Andy D'Agorne confirmed as leaders of the opposition Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green groups respectively.

* For the full story and pictures, see The Press on Friday.