BROMSGROVE has a new first citizen.

John Ruck was elected the civic head of Bromsgrove District Council for the forthcoming year at the last meeting of the authority held on May 14.

Coun Ruck was first elected to the authority in the 2002 elections. He retired in 2006 but was re-elected in 2010.

Prior to being elected onto the district council, Coun Ruck had been a councillor on Birmingham City Council in the late 1960s and served as a Birmingham magistrate for two decades.

In nominating Coun Ruck fellow councillor for the Marlbrook ward, Councillor Brian Cooper, described him as a gentleman interested in people and Bromsgrove.

Speaking to the chamber, which included civic dignitaries from across Worcestershire, Coun Ruck thanked councillors for supporting him.

Coun Ruck also paid tribute to outgoing civic head Helen Jones.

He said Coun Jones had been excellent in the way she had represented the town in the role, during the past year.

Civic heads traditionally choose charities to support during their year in the role, and Coun Ruck announced his charities will be Help for Heroes, which supports wounded servicemen and women when returning from conflict, and Libby Mae's Little Angels.

Coun Ruck explained he had chosen Libby Mae's as the charity had been set up by Charlotte and Richard, who lives in his ward, after the death of their two week old daughter.

The charity raises money to support the Neo-Natal Unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and to help provide resources to other Midlands based units.

Coun Ruck will be carrying out his ceremonial duties with his partner Jan Putsman.

His deputy is Coun Jones, who is set to take over again as civic head in 2015.