A NEW councillor will serve the West Wylam ward on Prudhoe Town Council.

A by-election was called following the removal of Cllr Rob Blackburn.

The caretaker failed to attend meetings throughout a period of six consecutive months. He had been due to remain in office until 2025.

In January, he told the Courant he put in his resignation in December because he "couldn't put the time in due to work and family commitments."

READ MORE: Town councillor loses seat after non-attendance at meetings

Labour's Paddy O'Kelly pipped Jennifer Burn, who was standing as an independent candidate, to the post, receiving 58 per cent of the vote.

Mr Kelly hopes to improve public transport access and links, eliminate speeding and create a more joined-up approach to working with organisations in the town for the benefit of residents.

He said: ”I am delighted to be elected to represent the community of West Wylam.

"I have lived in Prudhoe for many years and I am passionate about the area.

"I already know many of the local residents but I have really enjoyed meeting so many of my neighbours and hearing about their ideas to improve the West Wylam area.

"I will work very hard to represent them and I am looking forward to getting stuck in straight away.

"Many residents said that they felt the area needed a more effective local voice and I am determined not to let them down.

"I would like to thank my opponent, Jennifer Burn, who is a very respected local resident. I look forward to working with her now the election is over.

"I would also like to thank all the members of Prudhoe Labour Party who helped with my campaign. The Labour Party is resurgent in this area and we are working hard in the local community”.

Fellow Labour Cllr Angie Scott, Northumberland County Councillor for Prudhoe North, added: "Paddy will be a fantastic advocate for the people of West Wylam.

"I was really impressed with his campaign and of his knowledge of local issues.

"I am looking forward to working with Prudhoe Town Council to tackle some of the challenges facing the people of Prudhoe."