THE NEW Mayor of Southampton said she was “honoured” to be taking up the chains of office after she was sworn in yesterday.

Councillor Sue Blatchford thanked the family and friends who had given her support as she replaced outgoing mayor Councillor Ivan White.

As she accepted the post, the Labour councillor for Sholing said: “I am very proud to be a Sotonian and to the people of Sholing I am very grateful for your support.”

She added: “I will promote our great city, its institutions and associations, proudly being its ambassador supporting all the communities where I can.”

During her mayoral year she has chosen to support the Rainbow Project which helps vulnerable young people in the city and the Southampton and District branch of the Samaritans. Her brother Gregory Thorne has been named as her consort.

In his farewell speech, Councillor Ivan White said it was “a great honour to have worn the chains of office” for the past year.

He said: “Thank you to the people of this city, thank you from the bottom of my heart for a wonderful year.”

Portswood councillor Linda Norris was also sworn in as the new sheriff for the city.