LABOUR candidate Rose Seabury has been elected for the Wheatbottom and Helmington Row ward on Wear Valley District Council.

She polled 328 votes, beating Liberal Democrat John Bailey (180 votes) and British National Party candidate Stuart Neil (42).

Mrs Seabury, who lives in the ward, is secretary for Crook Community Partnership and has experience as a school governor and working with local authorities, community and voluntary groups and churches.

The seat has been vacant since the death in September of veteran councillor Belle Bousfield, who represented the ward for 17 years.

Mrs Seabury said: "I will make sure that the voice of local people is heard and listened to by the district council. Another of my priorities is to make sure the council get on top of the fight against anti-social behaviour."

Council leader Olive Brown said: "This ward means a lot to me and I am confident that Rose will do a very good job because she is a caring person who already does a lot of voluntary work."