Learning the ropes . . . Gore District mayor Ben Bell says he will only get better at the job after his first ordinary council meeting last Tuesday. PHOTO: MICHAEL CURREEN

Gore’s new mayor admits he ‘‘tripped over’’ a few times chairing his first council meeting — which spanned more than two and-a-half hours. However, the 23-year-old is confident he will improve with time.

Ben Bell, the country’s youngest mayor with no political experience, was put to the test when Gore District councillors gathered for their inaugural and first ordinary meeting last Tuesday.

About 30 members of the public sat in on the meeting.

Unlike former mayor Tracy Hicks, Mr Bell did not lead with a prayer as he did not have one prepared, but said he would in the future.

Still getting to grips with all the processes, he told The Ensign after the meeting that he gave his performance ‘‘a three or four out of 10’’.

‘‘It’s not my best work, I’ll be honest.

‘‘But onwards and upwards from here.

‘‘I’ll be well-versed on standing orders with my next meeting and a bit stricter in terms of, you know, keeping to time limits and making sure that everyone gets a say.’’

He did find the meeting ‘‘pretty exciting’’ despite its lengthiness.

‘‘To be fair, we did have two meetings packed together and there were some pretty big issues.

‘‘There was pretty good discussion around the table, which was fantastic to see.’’

The next full council meeting is scheduled to take place on December 13.