Paul De Kort has been elected as new leader of St Albans City and District Council.

The Harpenden East councillor was elected to the role at the annual meeting of the full council on Wednesday, May 22, and succeeds former Cllr Chris White, who held the post for five years.

"I am delighted to have been voted leader by my fellow councillors," said Cllr De Kort.

"This is a fantastic district, an amazing place to live, and I will now get to work on behalf of the district’s residents on the many important tasks that we are faced with.

"These include dealing with a very challenging financial climate and delivering a new Local Plan, which will allow for much-needed new housing, infrastructure and commercial space while protecting the Green Belt as much as possible.

"We will also continue to play our role in tackling the climate emergency, promote inclusive communities and work to ensure that our leisure provision remains at a very high level.

"One of our priorities is to create more desperately-needed social housing and I am delighted that the Jubilee Square project will soon complete, providing more than 30 new homes for people on our housing register."

Cllr De Kort will also chair the council’s strategy and resources committee, and the planning policy and climate committee, which is currently drawing up a new Local Plan.

Five other councillors were also appointed to the following key roles:

  • Councillor Helen Campbell: deputy leader, chair of the public realm committee and lead for car parking, parks and leisure.
  • Councillor Anthony Rowlands as vice-chair of the public realm committee and lead for heritage and recycling.
  • Councillor Jacqui Taylor as chair of the housing and inclusion committee and lead for housing and community safety.
  • Councillor Sarwar Shamsher as vice-chair of the housing and inclusion committee and lead for equality and inclusion.
  • Councillor Giles Fry as vice-chair of the strategy and resources committee and lead for resources.
  • Councillor Raj Visram as vice-chair of the planning policy and climate committee and lead for climate.