BISHOP Auckland has a new mayor. Councillor Joy Allen was elected at the latest town council annual meeting on Tuesday.

She said: "I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to serve as the new mayor of Bishop Auckland.

"This is a very exciting time for Bishop Auckland which is on the verge of a new chapter in its illustrious history.

"In the next year alone we will see the opening of a number of major new attractions that will no doubt have a positive impact on the high street and facilitate new jobs and bring major new investment in the town.

"However, there will be challenges during this transition period as we gear up to meet the needs of increased footfall and tourists and address the impact caused when national store chains and commercial operators reduce their presence on the high street.

"We have recently published our parish plan that addresses residents concerns about the environment, transport, health, leisure, education, training and employment.

"Over the next year I will be working closely with my fellow councillors and partners to ensure that we respond to the outcomes of public consultation and deliver the key objectives."