A NEW chairman has been installed at Gloucestershire County Council

Cllr Philip Awford has been elevated from the role of vice-chairman to chairman for the 2014/15 civic year, replacing Tetbury Cllr Tony Hicks.

Cllr Awford was elected to the council in 1997 to represent Kingsholm and was elected again in 2005 to represent the Severn Vale division, where he has been ever since, with the division renamed Highnam last year.

He said he was delighted to be elected to the top job.

“It is a privilege to represent the county in this way and, for me, it’s very much the pinnacle of public life,” he said.

“I will endeavour to maintain the standards set by those who have gone before me.”

Cllr Hicks has served the county for 17 years, spening two as chairman.

Among his duties, he supported a range of county services for the elderly and local businesses, and accompanied the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff during royal visits.

Key to his role was working with services that represent young people and people with learning disabilities.

“My objective was always to help motivate others and complement the work of those people in Gloucestershire who help to make the county a happy and successful place to live and thrive in,” he said.

“In standing down from the role of chairman I was delighted to nominate Cllr Phil Awford to succeed me.

“He has considerable experience working in the district and county, with vast knowledge in the areas of education and the environment.”

Cllr Graham Morgan, county councillor for Cinderford, has been appointed vice-chairman.

“I’ve been in local government since 1983 and I’m very pleased to take this position,” he said.

“Gloucestershire is one of the most beautiful places to live in the country so it’s an absolute privilege.”