THERE will be an educational feel to former teacher Cllr Jefferson Horsley’s year as Taunton Deane Mayor, which started last Thursday.

Mr Horsley, who succeeds Cllr Bob Bowrah, is supporting Taunton Music Trust, which promotes musical education for all ages and Tossing a Starfish Charity, to build two new classrooms in Farafangana, Madagascar.

Yorkshire-born Mr Horsley is a Dublin University graduate who has worked as a lecturer in Iran, in the financial industry and teaching economics and business studies at Taunton School.

He chaired Friends School Sidcot governing body, and the predecessors of Open Door and Taunton Association for the Homeless.

He was also a governor at Somerset College and a director of Taunton Citizen Advice Bureau.

He became a Taunton Deane councillor in 1987, serving as leader for 12 years and later holding the economic development, tourism and culture portfolio.

In his younger days he was hard court tennis champion of Ireland and played squash for Somerset.

He is a keen theatre and cinema-goer and has long supported The Brewhouse, in Taunton, and enjoys playing golf.

He is a member of the Royal Overseas League Taunton branch and Tone Vale Probus group.

Mr Horlsey and his wife, Freny, have two children, Genista and Jonathan, and enjoy being grandparents.

He said: “Freny is the complete antidote to me.

“Her no nonsense background of being born and brought up in India helps me keep my feet firmly on the ground and ensures I don’t have too many flights of fantasy.”