WESTHOUGHTON'S new town mayor has taken up her new role as civic leader after a special ceremony.

Conservative town councillor Lynda Winrow-Baker will take up the role of Mayor for the next year and gave an emotional acceptance speech in front of fellow councillors and gathered guests.

Newly elected town councillor Anne Graham, who has also been voted in as a borough councillor for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, will take up the job of deputy mayor for the town.

This decision did not go down well with independent councillor Jack Speight who had asked to be considered for the deputy position and claimed "underhand dealings" had blocked his progress.

Mrs Winrow-Baker said she was "honoured" to take up the mayoral position.

She added: "I am honoured to be given the chance to be mayor of this wonderful town and I just hope I can do as good a job as so many of those who have gone before me."

She informed the gathered guests that her two mayoral charities will be the Dementia Dupport Group and the Rainbow Legacy children's charity, both of which she has had recent dealings with.

In an emotional address, she added: "I am just so sorry that late my husband Andrew is not here to today but I would like to thank my family for all of their support."

Cllr Graham was nominated as deputy mayor by fellow Labour town councillor Christopher Peacock, who apologised to Cllr Speight and said he had not realised he wanted to be considered for the role.

Cllr Speight responded, stating: "These decisions are being taken behind the scenes at council level and I feel very sad that this has happened.

"I have been a town councillor for three years and have one of the best records of attendance and yet a councillor who has just been elected has been given the role, it is not her fault, it is just party politics and this is how it works."