A COMMUNITY stalwart who has been at the helm of Kingsmead Parish Council for six years has now stepped down as chair.

Cllr Chris Reed described it as a pleasure to lead the council for more than half of the time since its formation in 2011.

He will continue to serve Kingsmead as a councillor, with Cllr Laura Hoey being elected as the new chair.

On stepping down, Cllr Reed said: “I now feel the time is right to hand over to other councillors to allow them to take a more active day-to-day role in the council and community matters.

“I'm sure residents will give the new chair the same support they have given me, and I will of course support them as a councillor as I don't intend on leaving the council just yet.”

Cllr Hoey, who moved to Kingsmead in 2004 and joined the council in 2012, said that she would like the council to be more community driven with schemes that actively involve residents such as the recent wildflower project.

She added: “Kingsmead Parish Council would like to thank Cllr Chris Reed for his hard work and commitment for the past six years as chair and we are extremely pleased that he is remaining on the council as a councillor.

“I am delighted to have been voted in as chair and look forward to working with my fellow councillors to help the community.”

Among Cllr Reed’s highlights as chair include supporting Monarch Drive residents in implementing a 20mph speed limit and helping them to set up their Speedwatch group.

He was also involved in a parish project to plant black poplars, a species of tree that has been under threat but is now thriving in Kingsmead.