INDEPENDENT councillor Ron Woodley is to become leader of Southend Council.

The Tories will be officially kicked out of power on Thursday and replaced with a joint Independent, Labour and Lib Dem administration.

Members will be asked during a full council meeting at the Civic Centre to ratify the new leadership group.

Mr Woodley said it was an exciting time for the authority, parties and residents of the borough.

"I am very pleased that we have all been able to unite for the common purpose of serving the local people of Southend," the Thorpe ward councillor said.