Barnet’s new mayor wants to encourage people to make the most of the borough’s green spaces and promote healthy living during her term in office.

Cllr Caroline Stock became the 55th Mayor of Barnet after being officially sworn in during the annual meeting of the council at Hendon Town Hall on Tuesday (May 21).

A scientist who has lived in the borough all her life, Cllr Stock has a keen interest in a range of issues relating to children and health and has served as chairman of the council’s health and wellbeing board.

Cllr Stock said she had had “an interesting and insightful year” as deputy mayor, during which she had been given a “helicopter’s view of the borough”.

She told councillors: “I feel very privileged to be standing here as the new mayor of Barnet. I will do my utmost to represent the borough to the best of my ability.

“I was listening to a programme last week discussing the hazards of planet Earth. One expert explained we should be very worried – ten years ago, a meteorite missed our planet by a few thousand miles.

“If it had moved slightly to the right, Planet Earth would have been destroyed.

“I can’t in any way control such events – but by being a Barnet councillor, I can make small differences to improve people’s lives.

“I hope, as mayor, I can encourage all ages to use our beautiful green spaces.

“One of the first events I plan to do is to walk from the start to the finish of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk, and a number of you have already committed to doing this with me.”

Cllr Stock helped to launch the mayor’s Golden Kilometre initiative, which encourages primary school pupils from across the borough to run or walk a kilometre each day.

She has also devoted her time to trying to raise understanding of Type 2 Diabetes, promoting exercise and healthy eating at diabetic awareness events.

The new mayor’s chosen charities are Home Start – which supports families with young children through challenging times – and Cherry Lodge Cancer Care.

Cllr Lachhya Gurung, who represents Hale, was sworn in as deputy mayor, and tributes were paid to outgoing mayor Cllr Reuben Thompstone.