THE LEADER of South Gloucestershire Council has stood down from his position.

John Calway had been leader of the council since 2007 when the Conservative Party took over the hung council.

He said he was making the move for “personal reasons” and that he would also step down from his role as leader of the Conservatives.

Speaking in tribute to Cllr Calway’s tenure as leader of South Gloucestershire Council, deputy Conservative Group leader Matthew Riddle said: “Words are quite inadequate to express the magnificent service that John has given to the residents of South Gloucestershire and the Council.

"Over the last 15 years he has served as Conservative Group Leader and during that period the Conservative Group has grown from eight councillors in 1999 to 33 councillors now.

"John has also been leader of the council over the last seven-and-a-half years and during that time the council became a ‘Four Star Council’ - the highest rating possible, provided good services for our residents and at a cost that represents good value for money for our council taxpayers.”

Cllr Riddle added: ‘’John will continue as one of the councillors for Longwell Green so we will not be losing his long experience and great expertise from the Conservative group nor the council."

A leadership election to replace Cllr Calway as leader both of the Conservative Group and of South Gloucestershire Council, and also to appoint a new Deputy Group Leader, will be taking place on Monday, September 1.