A TOWN council has welcomed its new chair and vice chair for the forthcoming year.

Connah's Quay town council held its first meeting since three councillors left the Labour party to become independent members and nominations were received for the new vice-chair.

Outgoing Chair Cllr Pam Attridge handed over the chains to the new chair of the council, Cllr Ian Smith and she said she will remain a committed councillor for local residents.

She said: "I would like to thank my family for all the support they have given me.

"I remain a committed councillor to the residents of Connah's Quay and will do everything I can to help and support every person who seeks my help."

Cllr Attridge told members that during her year as chair, she raised £3,600 and 16 charities have received a donation.

She added: "What a year, very varied, from football matches to being at the opening of the crematorium and I have met and made friends along the way.

"I am still waiting on some money which sums up to £270 and as soon as I receive this, it will be going to local charities."

Cllr Ian Dunbar said Cllr Ian Smith would be a fine ambassador for the town council as he was handed the chains for the 2019/20 position.

He added: "I'm pleased to second Ian Smith. He will be an ambassador for Connah's Quay town council 2019/20. I know in his capacity as chair, he will represent all the council and residents of Connah's Quay to the best of his ability."

One nomination was put forward for the vice-chair position, of which members voted in favour, as Labour councillor Peter Davies was welcomed.

The nomination was put forward by Cllr Dunbar, who said he has proved his worth during his time as a councillor.

He said: "He has proved his worth over the time he has been a town councillor by organising wonderful Remembrance Sunday's and the day at the end of World War One in which he involved all the children from all of the local schools and I'm sure in his role as vice chair he will be a credit to us all."

The council also selected a new vice chair for the Finance and General Purposes Committee - Cllr Nathan Jones and Cllr Andy Dunbobbin will take over Cllr Pam Attridge's role as chair of the Recreation and Entertainment Committee (REC).

Cllr Dunbobbin paid tribute to Cllr Attridge's time as chair of REC, saying he has tough shoes to fill.

After the meeting, concerns were raised on social media over the fact that all of the senior positions were given to men.

Cllr Bernie Attridge tweeted: "Five standing committees chair and vice chair all men. Members Panel all men. Chair/Vice Chair of Council and Leader and Deputy All Men. #Diversity.

"Jobs for the boys."

Concerns were raised about whether the town council was 'regressive', with people stating the removal of Cllr Attridge as chair was 'unfair' and because she had left the Labour party.

Cllr Steven Tattum, who also now stands as an Independent, said: "It was not nice to see. I've always said it was unfair how it was run. Bernie and Pam will know, I never attended Labour caucus meetings choosing to vote with my heart not the Labour whip every meeting."

The Council now consists of three females and 17 males - of which seven are Independent and 13 Labour.

A spokesman for Connah's Quay town council tweeted: "There are only three out of twenty Councillors who are female. None of the positions received more than one nomination so didn't go to a vote. Let's not forget two of the last four years, Chairs have been female. We hope to encourage a more diverse range of candidates at the next election."

The full list of positions can be found online.