Elango Elavalakan has come a long way before being confirmed as Ipswich's First Citizen - but he's in no doubt about what this means for himself and the town.

He is the first person born in Sri Lanka to become mayor of Ipswich and he has lived and worked in many countries before settling here in the mid-noughties.

But he is in no doubt what this new role means to him: "Ipswich is my home. This is my home town and it's a great honour to take on this role."

Mr Elavalakan is a site engineer and a site manager and after being born and brought up in Sri Lanka, his work has taken him all over the world.

He worked in Africa - in Uganda, and he helped with major projects to rebuild Rwanda after the genocide of the 1990s, before moving to Ipswich and settling here with his wife Manchula in 2006.

He was first elected to Ipswich Borough Council 10 years ago and has become one of the best-known faces in the town.

Unusually he's already served for a year as deputy mayor to outgoing First Citizen Lynne Mortimer.

He said: "I've seen how hard Lynne has worked and I've really enjoyed helping her out and carrying out some jobs as deputy mayor.

"I'm really looking forward to the next year - I have my first job on Thursday. We get straight on with the work!"

The roles of the two will be reversed next year - Ms Mortimer will become deputy mayor as is traditional.

Mr Elavalakan took on the deputy's role a year ago because outgoing mayor John Cook took up a post on the council's executive and could not do both jobs.

Mrs Elavalakan will be Mayoress - or Mayor's Consort - for the year ahead and they are looking forward to meeting lots of new people.

The theme of his mayoralty will be "support and well-being" and his charities will be Cancer Support Suffolk and Genesis Orwell Mencap.

Mr Elavalakan said he had always had a strong sense of community and he hoped this would show itself during his mayoralty.

He said: "I've always liked working with people - as a child in Sri Lanka I was in the Cubs and the Scouts and I've been a member of the Lions Club.

"I do think it's important to work as part of the community."