THE mayor-making meeting was marred by controversy when a rival candidate for the ceremonial post was put forward.
Angry Liberal Democrat councillors claimed they had been sidelined by a deal made between Labour and Conservative chiefs to rotate the position of mayor between them.
They proposed Councillor Mohammed Anwar be made mayor in a challenge to the 'gentleman's agreement' which resulted in Labour's Ralph Fox elected to the role.
Councillor Paul Lorber (Liberal Democrats), leader of the council, said afterwards: "After the local elections in 2006 purely out of spite the Labour and Tory leaderships did a deal where they were to share the mayoralty for the next four years.
"We took seats from both parties and in the aftermath they got together and said 'how can we control the Lib Dems?'
"The mayoralty should not be the fiefdom of two parties and there should not be shady deals done behind closed doors."
Mr Anwar was not voted in and Liberal Democrats refused to applaud the election of Mr Fox as mayor.
Councillor Bob Blackman, leader of the Conservative Party,defended the deal and said Liberal Democrats had refused to negotiate about the mayoralty after the 2006 elections, forcing Labour and the Conservatives to take action.
He said: "You want an experienced councillor to serve as mayor because it detracts from the position if you are learning what it is to be a councillor while holding office." (Mohammed Anwar was elected as councillor in 2006.)
He continued: "The actions of the Liberal Democrats were totally unnecessary at a ceremony where we try to leave politics outside.It struck a very sour note."
Councillor Ann John, leader of the Labour Group, said: "We have never used the mayoral occasion to make political statements like the Liberal Democrats did.
"The meeting was not the place to have these kind of discussions, a meeting of the full council between the three political parties would be more appropriate."
Councillor Jim O'Sullivan (Conservative) was elected deputy mayor at the meeting.