CONTROVERSIAL Mayor of Carterton Lynn Little will hand over her chains tomorrow after months of council infighting.

Martin McBride, who is taking on the role, has already said he will let Carterton Town Council staff control the mayor’s finances during his tenure.

Much of the recent furore surrounding the council relates to the Mayor’s Allowance Account, a council bank account set up to make charitable donations from which Mrs Little is accused of misappropriating funds.

She categorically denies all of the allegations.

Mr McBride said: “There have been a lot of distractions that have caused some difficulty within the council and I think it will be my duty as chairman and mayor to represent a different image of Carterton to the outside world.”

Mr McBride said he would allow town hall staff to manage finances previously controlled by the mayor.

He said a new system would be transparent, with members of the public able to see how it was being utilised.

The councillor also said he would fill the role for a single year before giving others the opportunity.

Mrs Little was accused of misappropriating £4,835 from the Mayor’s Allowance Account while it was under her control.

The council previously agreed take legal action against Mrs Little if the money was not returned, and said last week that this process was moving ahead.

The money is understood to have gone to pay for thousands of pounds of donations towards a veterans’ home which is not registered with the Charity Commission.

Other money taken from the council’s account is said to have been used to pay for tickets for a St George’s Day dinner and other civic events.

At a meeting last month, Mrs Little announced she and several supporters had quit the Conservative Party.

She said then: “Since Carterton Town Council has engaged solicitors to make a claim against me, it has provided no evidence to substantiate their claim at this moment in time... I look forward to a swift conclusion of the matter, whereby Carterton Town Council withdraws its claim.”