The Labour opposition group at Waveney District Council has elected a new leader.
Sonia Barker, who represents Pakefield, was voted in by her party colleagues at an annual general meeting on Sunday after Tod Sullivan stood down from the position due to other commitments.
She was previously the Labour group’s deputy leader.
Mrs Barker has sat on Waveney since 2011 and also represents Pakefield at Suffolk County Council, where she is Labour’s spokesman on education, skills and young people.
The former high school teacher says her “main focus” will be next May’s elections in Waveney where she hopes her party will wrestle control from the current ruling Conservatives.
In the run up to polling day, which will coincide with the General Election, Mrs Barker said the main issues she would look to focus were the impact of government cuts to local authority budgets and the introduction of the so-called “bedroom tax”.
“We have a strong Labour team in Waveney. We will be working hard to win and deliver for our community in May 2015.”
Mr Sullivan, who represents Whitton, had been leader for two years. He stood down as leader because he wanted to focus on his work with foster families and campaigning on behalf of mental health service users.
“Sonia is a growing force in local politics, as she has shown on Suffolk County Council. She will take the group forwards, provide challenge to the administration and strengthen Labour’s position as an administration in waiting.
“I’m proud to have been leader for two years. I believe that we have become a group who the public, businesses and many people across the council would prefer to see running Waveney. We have held the administration to account and challenged waste and harmful cuts across Waveney.”
Labour’s new deputy leader is Ian Graham, who represents the Harbour ward.