A ROAD in a multi-million pound development is to be named after a long-serving former council leader who died last year following a long battle with cancer.

John Williams Boulevard will be the main spine road in the Central Park development in Darlington.

Former Darlington Borough Council leader Mr Williams, who died last year, set the ball rolling on Central Park before his retirement from the council.

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Councillor Bill Dixon, who replaced Mr Williams as leader, announced the tribute at a meeting of the full council on Thursday (March 20) evening.

He said: "When John died, we agreed that we would look for some kind of memorial.

"I am delighted that, with his family's agreement and to the glee of his grandchildren, it has been agreed that the main road in Central Park will be called John Williams Boulevard."

The road will include a plaque detailing Mr Williams' achievements and is expected to be unveiled next month.

Its announcement was welcomed by the opposing Conservative group leader, Councillor Heather Scott.

She said: "Whatever our political differences were, John Williams led this council for a long period of time.

"We have always tried to recognise those who give long service to the town, so I am sure we would support this."