Settle’s youngest-ever mayor has stepped down to join the police just short of completing his second year in office.

Joe Lord, 25 – believed to also be one of the youngest mayors in the country – is to join the North Yorkshire force and will be based in Scarborough after initial training.

“It has been an incredible honour to serve Settle as a councillor and also to serve twice as Town Mayor,” he said.

“However, I believe it is the right time to leave – joining the police has been an ambition for a long time and I regard myself as fortunate to be given this opportunity.”

Joe, whose background is in youth work and education, was first elected on to the council in July 2008, just a few days after his 20th birthday. He was then elected the town’s civic head by a majority of seven votes to three.

During his time as mayor, he received recognition both at home and abroad.

In 2012, he was invited to Slovenia as the UK delegate at an EU International Youth Conference. And in the same year he received the Yorkshire Dales Society Ken Willson Award for services to the Dales.

He donated his £500 award money to support youth projects in the area, including one group which is producing its own comic books, and also Skipton Extended Learning for All.

He wrote guidelines for local authorities, MPs and other organisations to follow when consulting and working with young people, and re-published an out-of-print book of Yorkshire dialect poetry by celebrated poet Tom Twistleton, with profits going to the Folly Museum in Settle.

He is also currently putting the finishing touches to a book containing stories and short essays written by young people and well-known figures, including former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The book is due to be printed next month and will be sold to raise money for local youth projects.

He added: “Settle is a fantastic town and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who, through paid or voluntary work, give so much time and effort to ensure we maintain our strong and friendly community.”