RYEDALE District Council has a new chairman and vice chairman after they were elected at the annual council meeting yesterday.

Cllr Will Oxley, ward member for Pickering East, was elected chairman. He took over the chains of office from outgoing chair Cllr Bob Gardiner.

Following his election to the council in 2015, Cllr Oxley has served as vice chairman for the past year before now taking on the role of chairman.

He said: "During my year in office, I will be trying to wave the flag for Ryedale as much as possible.

"I want to ensure the efforts of local communities and groups are recognised. I am looking forward to getting out and about to meet people and hear about all the good work that is being done across Ryedale."

His chosen cause for the year is Ryedale Charities Together, a partnership of local charities who deliver a diverse range of services to people living in need in rural locations across the local area.

Cllr Robert Wainwright, leader of the Independent group, was elected as the new vice chairman.

The meeting - the first since six Conservative councillors dramatically defected from the party - also saw councillors elected to chair the three council committees.

They are as follows:

Policy and Resources

Chair: Cllr Luke Ives
Vice Chair: Cllr Steve Arnold

Overview and Scrutiny

Chair: Cllr John Clark
Vice Chair: Cllr Geoffrey Acomb


Chair: Cllr Fiona Farnell
Vice Chair: Cllr Michael Cleary

See the Gazette & Herald on Wednesday, May 24 for more details and reaction.