OTLEY Town Council will continue to focus on finding ways to boost local tourism as it presses ahead into the next year.

That was the message from chairman, Councillor Ray Georgeson, at the council's annual meeting and mayor-making ceremony on Monday.

Summing up the previous year, Cllr Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) said it had been one of "steady progress" in many areas.

Referring to the Otley Tourism Conference staged in March, he said: "The idea is to create a three-year plan to bring more visitors to the town.

"Hopefully, by this time next year, we'll have put together a strategy and put a budget aside for it to focus on bringing in the visitors."

He also said that a long-running bid to bring hire boats back onto the River Wharfe at Otley is approaching completion, pending approval by Leeds City Council.

And, answering a question during the annual parish meeting, he said the Neighbourhood Plan is advancing, too.

Cllr Georgeson added: "We're appointing a consultant to do the next bit of work to really push on because we need to get it finished and signed off so it's ready for when these developers come our way."

The evening saw Cllr Philip Bye (Lib Dem, Prince Henry's) hand over his mayoral chains to new town mayor, Cllr Ian Jackson (Lib Dem, Ashfield).

Cllr Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Prince Henry's), proposing Cllr Jackson, said his "quiet and relaxed" relaxed style would suit the role well.

Cllr Bye said it had been "a great honour" to serve the town during the past year, and thanked everyone for helping him raise more than £3,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

He said congratulating cyclist Lizzie Armitstead on becoming World Champion, and accompanying her on two school visits, had been one of his personal highlights.

Cllr Jackson, meanwhile, said being elected as mayor was"quite something".

Two awards were also made on the night. The first, a Young Achiever Award, was presented to Prince Henry's Grammar School student, Chloe Tear.

Chloe, 18, who has cerebral palsy, writes a blog about her condition, is a head ambassador for the charity CP Teens UK and is an assistant head girl at her school.

Cllr Jackson said her example is "an inspiration to us all".

Peggy Sykes, 91, meanwhile, was made the newest Honorary Citizen of Otley in recognition of her "exceptional commitment to the community over many years".

Cllr Jackson said: "She always looks out for her neighbours, helping them resolve housing problems, and is always looking at ways of improving her neighbourhood."

A board member and long-time supporter of Otley Action for Older People, Mrs Sykes spearheaded – with the help of Otley in Bloom – a complete floral makeover of the grassed area of The Boardwalk in 2011.