THE MAYOR has been ruled out of official engagements due to illness - but hopes to be back by Christmas.

Mayor Tina McKenzie-Boyle has been ill in bed since Tuesday December 5, and therefore has been unable to fulfill her duties.

On her Facebook page, the mayor confirmed she has pneumonia.

Either the deputy mayor, or past mayors have taken her place.

A statement read: “I’m sorry we have been off the air for a while, but sadly Cllr Tina McKenzie-Boyle has been in bed with flu since Tuesday 5th December. This has now developed into pneumonia, and she will be unavailable for engagements for few more days. She hopes to be back to normal well before Christmas.”

“Although she has been very unwell, her appointments haven’t been cancelled, but have been taken up by the Deputy Mayor or Past Mayors.

"She is so very grateful to them for taking up the slack.

“But she really has missed not being able to attend such a varied programme of events over the last week or so – all filled with joy and hope and fun. And she wishes everyone a very Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.”