Bridlington councillor Richard Burton has been elected as only the second leader in the history of East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
He was chosen to lead the Conservative group following this month's local elections and was confirmed as Stephen Parnaby OBE's successor at County Hall at a meeting of the council yesterday.
Cllr Burton, who represents Bridlington Central and Old Town, was elected as a councillor 12 years ago and in that time has held the cabinet portfolio for tourism, leisure and culture as well as holding positions on planning committees, scrutiny committees, local action teams and review panels.
Away from politics, CllrBurton has been an integral part of the Bempton parish community for many years.
Before becoming a councillor he was a special constable and a school governor as well as running a family-owned farm and self-catering holiday cottages.
Councillor Burton is also a keen artist and many of his paintings are displayed in the art gallery and tearoom which he also runs with his wife, Claire.
After the meeting, Councillor Burton said: “I’m honoured to be the new leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
“Stephen Parnaby has left this council in great shape, with a highly respected reputation nationally and in a strong resilient financial position.
“I want to focus on place-shaping, embrace commercialism and the ever changing technology world as well as delivering a sound financial strategy.
“A good council needs well managed finances and without them you have nothing and I intend to build on our strong position although, despite the impression austerity has finished, savings of £39million still have to be made by 2023.
“We need to continue to deliver a strong economic strategy and create an environment where external investment flows in and helps to energies our residents, give them ambition and a sense of worth, particularly in deprived areas.
“The East Riding is on the cusp of major investment, particularly in Goole, which will generate greater prosperity as well as new career opportunities.
“I want to continue to shape the East Riding into a place where there is great innovation and where ambition flourishes and that we can stand proud and strong alongside our economic neighbours.