TOWN councillor Tony Miles has beaten off the challenge of Anne Hughes to be next in line to become mayor of Milford Haven.

At Monday's meeting of Milford Haven Town Council, the current deputy mayor, Eric Harries, was formally elected mayor for 2006-07, and Cllr Miles triumphed by nine votes to four in a secret ballot to determine his deputy and successor.

Proposing Cllr Harries, Cllr John Roberts said he had been mayor twice before and performed the role "without any form of reproach at all." Outgoing mayor Cllr Rhys Sinnett said he had no doubt Cllr Harries would "do Milford proud."

Cllr Harries commented only that he hoped and prayed that he would repay the faith shown in him by his fellow councillors.

After winning the secret ballot, Cllr Miles said: "I hope I can learn from the present mayor the correct way of going about it.

"I'm completely green so I am hoping he can guide me along the way," he added.