A LONG-serving councillor has stepped down from his role as leader of Malvern’s Lib Dems after 20 years.

Councillor Tom Wells, who has been at the helm representing Malvern Hills District Council’s Liberal Democrat councillors for two decades, announced he was quitting the role to allow 'someone else to take the helm.'

Cllr Kaleem Aksar, who was elected to the town’s Link ward in April last year, will take over from Cllr Wells as leader.

Cllr Wells said: “After twenty successive years as Liberal Democrat leader on Malvern Hills District Council, I felt it was time to step down and allow someone else to take the helm.

“I am sure the new leader will have his own ideas about the way he wants to operate.”

Cllr Wells said he had been thinking throughout the summer that it was time to step down and felt the party’s annual meeting was the most appropriate time to resign.

“There have been many memories that I will cherish from this time and it has been a huge privilege to work with so many councillors all determined to do their best for the communities they serve,” he said. “Of course I’m going to remain as a councillor so I will still be dedicated to Powick for the foreseeable future.”

Cllr Wells, as of the moment, remains deputy leader of Malvern Hills District Council, a role he took up in the coalition of Democratic group, made up of Independent and Green councillors, and Liberal Democrat councillors which currently runs the council.

Cllr Wells will also continue representing Powick on Worcestershire County Council.

Cllr Aksar, who at 22-years-old is most likely the youngest leader the council’s Lib Dems have said, said he had big boots to fill with the departure of Cllr Wells from the head of the table.

“I want to just pay tribute to Tom’s leadership of the group over the years.

“He has been there a long time and he has been very effective in his leadership and they will be some big boots to fill.

“I am looking forward to bringing the group forward for the future.

“I’ve been reflecting on everything that has been going on at the moment and we have got to deliver better services and a better area for our residents.

“We have got to ensure we are building a better future for them.”