CHILTERN District Council has a new leader, with Isobel Darby being voted into the role after Nick Rose's resignation.

Cllr Darby was voted as the new leader of the authority at last night's annual meeting of the council.

Previous leader Cllr Rose stepped down from the position at the same meeting, having served in the role for the last four years.

He said: "After four years of what at times has been quite intensive activity, I'm very happy to stand down and make way for a new leader. The timing is right to do so.

"It's been a challenging but nevertheless very rewarding time."

After Cllr Darby was nominated for the post of leader, Cllr Rose said: "Quite early on I had people coming up to me saying, 'Who is this Isobel Darby? On the Health and Wellbeing Board she's making rather a name for herself'.

"I thought, 'She has considerable talent and ability', and that's been proved ever since. I have no doubt that she will pull this council in the direction we would like to see."

Cllr Darby, who was first elected onto Chiltern District Council in 2007 and became a cabinet member three years later, said: "Cllr Rose has been an exceptional leader, and I am honoured to be elected to take on the mantle to continue building on his valuable achievements.

"I'm a strong believer in team effort and collaborative working. The saying, 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts' is my mantra, and as such my priorities for the coming year will be to enhance communication and engagement with our members, officers, partner councils and other agencies.

"These are testing but exciting times for local government, and I am confident that Chiltern can more than meet the challenges ahead."

The number of cabinet members shrank from seven to six in a reshuffle at last night's meeting.

Mike Stannard was appointed deputy leader - replacing Mike Smith, who drops out of the cabinet altogether - while there was a new face as Fred Wilson was named member for the newly-created post for Customer Services.