Councillor Randolph Charles is the new Speaker of Bedford Borough Council.
Cllr Charles was elected to succeed Councillor Mark Smith at the annual council meeting this month.
He said: “I am delighted to be elected as Speaker for Bedford Borough Council and I hope I can perform the role to the best of my abilities, fairly and impartially. Congratulations to Cllr Smith, who has done an excellent job for the past year.”
The Speaker is a sitting councillor elected to the office for one year by members of the council at their annual meeting.
The Speaker also represents the council on formal occasions and at external functions including church services and religious festivals, graduation ceremonies, fetes, sporting events and concerts and major civic events.
Councillor Charles has represented Cauldwell ward since May 1999.
His involvement in the local community includes being Chair of the Independent Advisory Group to Bedfordshire police, and a Non -Executive Director for South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. Cllr Charles also chairs the Environment & Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee of the Council.
Cllr Wendy Rider, who represents Brickhill Ward, has been appointed as Deputy Speaker.