A GREEN councillor has been elected as the chairman of Penrith town council and mayor.

Doug Lawson was appointed to the two key roles at the council’s annual meeting on Monday.

It came as the majority of councillors voted to declare a climate and ecological emergency, following a motion put forward by Mr Lawson.

This means the council will aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions in Penrith by 2030.

Part of the plan includes consideration of a citizen’s assembly to ensure every action taken by the council is weighed against its impact now and for future generations.

Mr Lawson said: “Penrith has a council it can rightly be proud of. I am very much looking forward to significant and positive changes around town.

“With so many people stepping forward to represent the places in which they live and work within the town, we have a clear mandate to make a real difference.

“This is a very exciting time for the whole council and I feel privileged to be part of the new era.

“As well as the climate emergency, high on my list for this year is ensuring we listen carefully to all our residents and talk clearly and often about all the positive benefits we can provide. No-one in Penrith should be in any doubt that their council is here and is acting for them.”

Mr Lawson was also elected as an Eden district councillor at the recent local elections.

Its annual meeting, last Thursday, saw Liberal Democrat Virginia Taylor elected as leader and Independent Mary Robinson named deputy in a new coalition between the Lib Dems, Independent Group and Labour.