THE leader of Wirral's Liberal Democrats has received the mayor's award in recognition of his selfless work for the community.

Eastham councillor Phil Gilchrist learned he was the recipient of this year’s Andy Day Memorial Cup during a meeting of the full council on Monday night.

Also known as ‘councillor of the year’, the honour is given in memory of the former labour councillor.

It was presented to Cllr Gilchrist by the Mayor, Cllr Dave Mitchell during Monday’s meeting.

Cllr Gilchrist said: “I feel honoured to have received this award, but it was quite a shock when I was told that I’d won. I had no inkling that I was in line for it.”

Cllr Gilchrist was elected in 1977 and lost his seat in 1990, following public opposition to the Poll Tax. He was re-elected in 1992 and served as mayor from 2007 to 2008.

He took over the reins of Wirral's Liberal Democrat group in May last year.

It followed a decision by then leader Cllr Tom Harney to stand down in the wake of the group being criticised for its "lack of direction."

Cllr Gilchrist continued: "Andy Day was a councillor for about 15 years and this award is given in recognition of their selfless service to the community.

“Each year the cup is award to councillors who selflessly serve their community. When I was Mayor I nominated Cllr Tony Smith for the award, in recognition of his work.“