The mayor of Petersfield has agreed to keep the hotseat warm for his deputy following an election surprise.

Cllr JC Crissey was unanimously re-elected mayor at the annual meeting of Petersfield Town Council on May 30.

But don’t be surprised if he stands down within the next 12 months as deputy mayor, Cllr Lesley Farrow, is expected to take over once she recovers from an operation.

The move is a break from tradition as the council usually elects a new mayor each year, with the deputy often getting the nod.

Cllr Crissey has entered a gentleman’s agreement and will resign from his position when Cllr Farrow is ready to take the chains for the third time. 

While Cllr Crissey seemed happy to accept the nomination Neil Hitch, in one of his last meetings as town clerk, expressed caution, fearing the mayor might struggle with more of the same.

He said: “It’s hard work and takes an awful lot of commitment, and I think it would be a push and challenge after the last year.

“We kept the same mayor during the period of covid but civic duties were significantly reduced – I would just be concerned for your own welfare.”

Cllr Crissey said he would be “very happy” to be elected and to stand down when the time arose, with Cllr Farrow calling JC an “exemplary mayor” who’s added an “American touch” to the role.

She joked: “I think he’s also got the prize for the most photographed mayor in Petersfield’s history.”