Former firefighter becomes Diss mayor

A former retained firefighter has spoken of his pride after being elected as the new mayor in Diss.

Mike Bardwell, who works as a network planner for electricity company UK Power Networks, donned the mayoral chains for the first time last Wednesday.

The 49-year-old, who has lived in Diss since the age of eight and has been a town councillor for three years, takes over from Adrian Kitchen.

Mr Bardwell, whose grandfather was chairman of the Diss Urban District Council in the late 1950s, said he was looking forward to his year as mayor.

'I am very keen to get the town more on the map and want to drive Diss forward. It is underestimated by some people,' he said.

Mr Bardwell, who was a Diss firefighter for 22 years, added that he would promote Diss Corn Hall and would work hard to keep the Diss Youth Resource Base in Shelfhanger Road open for local people after it became the victim of Norfolk County Council cutbacks.

Diss Town Council is currently preparing a detailed business case to take on the youth centre on behalf of local people and users.

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Graham Minshull has been elected as the deputy mayor for Diss Town Council.

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