THE new council leader was officially voted in and the number of cabinet members cut during the Cotswold District Council annual meeting.

Councillor Mark Annett replaced the stepping down Lynden Stowe after 11 years at the helm, when he was voted in by the full council on Tuesday, after previously being nominated by the Cotswold Conservative Group.

The cabinet has also been reduced to six members with councillor Sue Jepson and councillor Alison Coggins stepping down to be replaced by councillor Stephen Hirst, taking on the combined portfolio of housing, health and leisure.

Cllr Annett said: "I am looking forward to continuing the good work done by Lyndon Stowe.

"Lynden did a great job making our front line services more efficient.

About the changes, he added: "It is important to keep the council up-to-date so we have had a minor shuffle around.

"We have a responsibility to make the council as efficient as it can be."

Councillor Julian Beale is the new chairman of the council and his vice-chairman is councillor David Fowles.

Councillor Tina Stevenson was made chairman of the planning and licensing committee with councillor Juliet Layton as vice-chairman.

Councillor Jenny Forde was made chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee.

In terms of the rest of the cabinet, councillor Nick Parsons remains as deputy leader and cabinet member for forward planning, Sue Coakley stays as cabinet member for environment, Chris Hancock is in charge of enterprise and partnerships, and Mark Mackenzie- Charrington remains as cabinet member for planning services and the Cirencester Car Parking Project.

Cllr Stowe will continue as a ward member for Campden-Vale after stepping down as leader of the council.