A LONG-SERVING Halesowen councillor who is Mayor of Dudley has been honoured with a tree planting in his home town.

Halesowen South councillor Alan Taylor has been a councillor in his ward for the last 15 years.

Before that the 84-year-old retired engineer represented the Cakemore ward, which is now known as Halesowen North, from 1970 to 1974.

The veteran councillor was honoured with the planting of a Ginkgo Biloba tree donated by Halesowen Conservative Association in the town centre yesterday (Tuesday).

Father-of-three councillor Taylor, of Carters Lane, said: "It was a complete surprise to me - we went down just expecting to plant a tree as normal and then I found out it was dedicated to me.

"It completely shocked me.

"It's great that my peers thought to do that for me."

Eve O'Connor, of Halesowen in Bloom, said: "Halesowen in Bloom have facilitated the planting of a new tree in the town centre by the Mayor of Dudley, cllr Alan Taylor.

"The tree was donated by Halesowen Conservative Association and fellow Halesowen councillors as a tribute to cllr Taylor's long service."

Belle Vale councillor Simon Phipps, who is chairman of Halesowen Conservative Association, said: "Alan has served Halesowen over decades - it's a great way to round off his mayoral year and is something that will grow and flourish in the town centre to commemorate his work."

Councillor Taylor, who is married to Winifred - the couple has four grandchildren - is up for election next week.

He will go up against Helen Betts-Patel for Labour, Derek Campbell for the Lib Dems, Nicholas Gregory for the Black Country party and independent candidate Tim Weller.

He said: "I've enjoyed helping people as a councillor - I must do because I have put myself up for election again.

"I'm hoping to have another stint."

Councillor Taylor is a member of the Friends of Leasowes Park.