A COUNCILLOR has been elected as town mayor for the fifth consecutive term.

Great-grandmother Mary Dalton was appointed as Mayor of Great Aycliffe at Great Aycliffe Town Council Annual General Meeting.

She said: “I think it is absolutely fantastic.

“I am very pleased to be selected because I’m on my own– it’s a role to keep me busy and I enjoy it.”

Labour candidate Wendy Hillary was elected as deputy mayor for the third term at the same meeting on Wednesday.

The selections were met by opposition from some members who said the council was a "Labour dictatorship”.

Independent Councillor Arun Chandran described the re-elections as ridiculous.

He said: “It is very sad that Labour insists on being tribal on these things and that others just as capable and long serving don’t get a look in, just because they are not Labour.

“Soon we will have an entire wall in the council chamber with photos of mayors all the same person.”

Cllr Dalton added: “You’re always going to get opposition in elections but all the councillors get on and there’s no animosity between us.”