IT’S the exchanging of the chains ...
Last night a year of service by the departing mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, and her mayoress, Stella Matthewson, came to an end.
At a meeting of the borough council in the council chamber at South Shields Town Hall their replacements were waiting in the wings to begin their 12-month tenure in the roles.
And the formal passing of the chains was carried out as the new mayor, Hebburn North councillor Richard Porthouse, and his mayoress, wife Patricia, were formally elected.
As part of the other business chairmen and vice chairmen of various council committees were appointed. After the recent local elections the make-up of the council chamber now comprises 52 Labour councillors, one Conservative and one independent.