A NEW chairman was elected by Rochford District Council at their annual meeting last night.

June Lumley, Liberal Democrat councillor for the Grange ward, succeeded outgoing chairman Barbara Wilkins after spending the past year as vice-chairman.

Mrs Lumley thanked her fellow councillors for electing her to the role, which will see her chair full council meetings and represent the authority at events across the district for the municipal year 2014/15.

She said: "It is a huge honour to serve the district in this way.

"I am looking forward to meeting as many people as possible throughout the year, particularly smaller volunteer groups and organisations."

In a rare move former chairman and Conservative councillor for Hawkwell South, Heather Glynn, was elected as vice-chairman, meaning she is likely to serve a second year as chairman in 2015/16.

She previously held the post in 1995/96 and last month was re-elected as a district councillor for a 25th year as part of the administration - a move Conservative group leader Terry Cutmore said was worthy of another year as chairman.

He said: "Heather has been on the council for more years than anyone cares to remember.

"She has been a chairman in the past but with her years on the council she has chalked up another term."