CASTLE Point’s council leader has promised to meet with the other Essex councils once a month to thrash out a long-term housing plan which is right for the borough.

Colin Riley made the vow in front of a packed council chamber at the borough’s council HQ in Thundersley as he was re-elected as leader.

Also on the night he chose to omit colourful character, and long serving borough councillor, Bill Sharp from his cabinet - and gave him a scrutiny role instead.

Mr Riley said he was taking a “cross-borough” approach to draw up a fresh Local Plan, which members threw out in March.

David Smith, the planning inspector appointed to examine the authority’s New Local Plan 2016, in January rapped the authority for not “engaging constructively” with other councils to meet housing needs.

Mr Riley said: “Being re-elected is a very daunting task, it’s all about efficiency.

“We are now taking a cross borough approach to draw up the new Local Plan, where council leaders from the five boroughs will meet up once a month to discuss (it).”

Mr Riley revealed it was “with regret” he will not be appointing veteran Conservative Bill Sharp to his cabinet.

He explained: “Bill Sharp is no longer included in my cabinet, it was a difficult decision. I have asked Bill instead to take on an important scrutiny role.”

Mr Sharp was replaced by estate agent and Conservative councillor Colin Maclean, whose portfolio includes customer engagement and commercialism.

Conservative councillor Jeffrey Stanley was re-appointed as deputy leader alongside the annual mayor making.

Steven Cole officially handed the mayoral chain to councillor Brian Wood, who will take up civic duties until 2018.

Mr Cole was very excited saying: “I want to take this opportunity to thank you all.

“It has been an amazing year.”