A NEW councillor has been selected to take an empty seat on Whitehaven Town Council.

Gaile Stevens, 59, has been appointed the councillor for Whitehaven South ward, after Carla Arrighi resigned from the position earlier this year.

Members of Whitehaven Town Council had a choice of two potential councillors - Ms Stevens and Tony Lowrey - who were invited to a meeting to give a five-minute presentation on why they should be selected.

In her presentation, Ms Stevens said she moved to Whitehaven five and a half years ago, after she "fell in love with the place".

She began working as a beach cleaner at Silecroft and Haverigg with Copeland Council and moved into a housing association property at Greenbank.

"I've found the area very neglected," she told councillors. "I got to know people. I got to talk to people. At the start of Covid, I went out every day litter picking. I then started the Whitehaven Womblers. We supported Gerard with the international markets down on the harbour.

"Then I started to hear bad news about our local councillor. I tried to encourage people on the estate to do something and nobody was prepared to do that.

"When I heard that she resigned, I went round the estate again, spoke to the long-standing tenants. It's very easy to complain. It's not so easy to step up to the mark and take responsibility for those complaints and do something about it.

"On Greenbank, everyone said they wished me all the best and they'd be delighted to have somebody who is a local resident.

"I'd be delighted to serve all of you."

After Mr Lowrey failed to show up for his presentation, councillors agreed to make their decision based on his application.

A brief discussion was held and members then voted unanimously to elect Gaile Stevens as the new town councillor for the Whitehaven South ward.