A TOWN council has made history by meeting for the first time without any Labour councillors.

It was the first time Shildon Town Council has met since the May 1 local government elections when all Labour councillors lost their seats.

The town has always had a Labour council since the late 1920s, but Tuesday night's meeting saw a Liberal Democrat elected as chairman for the first time in years.

Coun Garry Huntington, who has served the town since 1984, said it was a great honour to take up the post.

He said: "I will hold this dear to me. To be chairman of this town council is an honour that I won't forget. I honestly thought I would never see the day."

The defeated Labour-run council had spent money on dramatically transforming the town recently but came in for criticism because local people believe they were paying for it with what they said was the highest council tax rate in the country.

Independent councillor Stuart Bird was elected as vice-chairman of the authority.