WIRRAL'S new mayor has taken up the chains of office.

Labour councillor for Upton, Tony Smith was installed on Monday, following predecessor Geoffrey Watt as first citizen of the borough.

His chosen charities are Dementia Together Wirral and Open Door Centre.

Claughton Labour councillor George Davies is deputy mayor.

Cllr Smith - whose mayoress is wife Barbara - was born in Carlow, Ireland and educated in Ireland and at Heythrop Jesuit College in Oxfordshire.

The eldest of three children, he is a qualified teacher having trained at Christ’s College Liverpool. He subsequently went on to study for a BA Honours in Psychology and an MSc in educational psychology.

After teaching for eight years in primary education he worked as an educational psychologist for 30 years, first in Sefton and then in Manchester.

Tony was first elected to the council in 1995 as the Bebington ward councillor and has served as member for Upton Ward since 2004.

He has held various roles and responsibilities including cabinet member for social inclusion and cabinet member for children's services.

An active sportsman, he has completed the Dublin marathon and a number of half marathons, plays football, golf and squash and is a member of Upton tennis club.

He now plays golf using municipal courses and improves his Spanish by attending classes.

Tony and Barbara married in 1973. They have a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.

Barbara was born in Birkenhead and educated at Sacred Heart Primary School, Maris Stella High School and Teacher Training College in Liverpool.

She studied for a BA with the Open University and then an Advanced Diploma in special educational needs, also with the Open University.

She worked in primary education from 1966 until 2005 with a break of a few years when their children were small.

They enjoy travelling, visits to the cinema, theatre, museums and galleries and are Liverpool season ticket holders.