THE Conservative party in South Gloucestershire has elected a new leader.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, who represents the Severn ward on South Gloucestershire Council, was yesterday unanimously elected as group leader and leader of the authority, following the resignation of Cllr John Calway.

Speaking of his appointment, Cllr Riddle said: “I am thrilled to take on the role of leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

“There is a challenging time ahead in the run up to the 2015 election and I passionately believe that the people of South Gloucestershire deserve a council that delivers value for money good services.

“I want to see our precious Green Belt respected and protected.

"I want to continue our push to scrap the punishing green bin tax and see broadband rolled out further into our rural communities and I believe the best way to get these things is a council with a Conservative majority and look forward to leading my group in a solid, positive campaign to get just that.”

Cllr Riddle, who lives in Lower Morton near Thornbury, was first elected onto the council in 2003 and has chaired the adults and housing committee since 2012.

He was elected as vice-chairman of the council in May but has stood down from the position in order to take up his new roles. A new Conservative vice-chairman will be duly elected and officially appointed at a full council meeting on October 15.

Two new deputy leaders, councillors Brian Allinson (Stoke Gifford) and John Goddard (Hanham), were also elected.