THE council’s new leader has pledged to prioritise job creation and the economy during his term in office.

Cllr David Chambers said the council needs to take advantage of Malvern’s ‘superb environment’ which is the envy of other towns and cities.

He added that Malvern Hills District Council covers a large area as they have a responsibility to serve it as a whole.

“We want to create an economic environment that attracts new businesses to this area, providing jobs for our residents and opportunities for our young people,” he said.

“In particular I want to see us work with the district’s schools, colleges and employers to provide a new generation of skilled apprenticeships.

“As leader of the council I am very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities we have ahead of us.”

Cllr Chambers also paid tribute to his predecessor when he was declared as the new leader at the district council’s annual meeting on Tuesday, May 16.

“Can I first pay tribute to Phil Grove who has served as leader for two years,” he said.

“He’s created an environment across the political divide that’s enabled us all to work much more closely together.”

The councillor will now pick other elected members to become portfolio holders to oversee the district council’s duties.

Cllr Melanie Baker was declared as deputy leader of the council.

The council chairman, John Raine, was replaced by vice chairman Chris O’Donnell.

Cllr O’Donnell announced that her chosen charities are St Richard’s Hospice and the special needs group What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful, which is based in Malvern.

Cllr Andrea Morgan was declared as the deputy chairman.

Cllr O’Donnell chose What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful as one of her charities because her grandson is on the autistic spectrum.

The charity is holding a fundraising disco night on Saturday, 22 July, in a bid to raise money.

The event is for over-18s and starts at 7.30pm in Malvern Town Football Club, Langland Avenue, Malvern.