Councillors elected their new leader at a meeting last night.

At the first meeting of the newly elected Isle of Wight Council following the local government elections, Councillor Dave Stewart, leader of the Conservative Group, which holds 25 of the 40 seats on the council, was elected its leader until the next local elections in four years’ time.

Councillor Stewart said: “I am delighted to have been elected as the leader of the council for the next four years.

“ I have committed to providing strong leadership and direction to the council and this provides the strong foundation for me to do this. It provides the basis for me to work with a new Cabinet team, and the council’s officers to improve the quality of life for Islanders and ensure that we are a council that works for everyone.

“I am committed to working with and for the people of the Isle of Wight to create opportunities, deliver growth and prosperity, preserve the environment, plan for the future and protect our community.

"I am also determined the council will continue its improvement journey to being financially sound, effective and efficient in all it does and one that is focused on the impact of what it is doing rather than giving disproportionate attention to how it is doing it.

“The reinstatement of delegated decisions, for example, simply means we can get on and take them without having to wait for the next available committee date.

"At the same time, I have ensured that appropriate checks and balances exist, to scrutinise the work of the council without being a bureaucratic impediment to progress.”

The council leader also announced the nine members of the council who will join him in making up the council’s main decision making body – the Cabinet.

The new cabinet is:

Leader and Strategic Partnerships Councillor Dave Stewart

Deputy Leader and Resources  Councillor Stuart Hutchinson

Infrastructure and Transport Councillor Ian Ward

Children’s Services Councillor Chris Whitehouse

Regeneration and Business Development Councillor Wayne Whittle

Adult Social Care and Public Health Councillor Clare Mosdell

Planning and Housing Councillor Barry Abraham

Environment and Heritage Councillor John Hobart

Community Safety and Public Protection Councillor Gary Peace