A COUNCILLOR has resigned from her cabinet post after criticising Darlington Borough Council in The Northern Echo.

Eleanor Lister, the council's cabinet member for adult services, said she believed the council was failing dementia sufferers in the town.

Coun Lister OBE, who works as a family support worker for the Darlington and district branch of the Alzheimer's Disease Society, said the council should be doing more to help people with the disease, other dementia sufferers and their carers.

But yesterday she said: "I now realise that my remarks were incorrect and inappropriate.

"Having discussed the situation with the leader of the council, John Williams, I have decided that my position as a cabinet member is untenable, and it is with regret that I have therefore resigned with immediate effect.

"I would like to thank my colleagues and council officers who have given me so much support and assistance during my time as a cabinet member, and previously as a committee chair. I would also like to thank the staff in adult services for their commitment and professionalism."

She said as a cabinet member she was not allowed to be mayor of Darlington, but this would give her an opportunity to be deputy mayor from next month and mayor from May 2006.

Councillor Williams said: "Eleanor has contributed many years of hard work to this council and her experience will be missed in cabinet.

"But I know that she will continue to serve Darlington well both as a ward councillor and in her forthcoming roles as deputy mayor and mayor."

Coun Lister was elected in 1987 and has been the cabinet member for adult services since last November. Prior to that, she had held cabinet posts for education, leisure services and social services.

Coun Williams will take over the adult services portfolio until a successor to Coun Lister is appointed.