The leader of the Indepedent Group said she wants to move forward to make 'positive change' and work in an 'inclusive manner'.

Councillor Wendy Stamp was elected as the leader of the group until the councils statutory annual meeting on Thursday, November 5.

Councillor Stephen Nunn was also elected as deputy leader.

Councillor Stamp said: "As the new leader of the Independent Group, I want to say how pleased I am to have the confidence of the group to be appointed as their leader.

"I am also grateful to have the support of Councillor Stephen Nunn as the new Deputy Leader. I would also like to give my thanks to Councillors Mark Heard and Brian Beale, who have worked so hard in their roles as Leader and Deputy Leader of the group in the past, enabling the group to have achieved so much.

"I would also like to welcome the newest member to the group Councillor Richard Siddall, who will be a great asset.

"The Independent Group’s Councillors now represent all areas of the district; from the furthest north in Great Braxted through to the shores of the Crouch in Burnham.

"We are lucky to have Councillors who have a wide range of skills and abilities, who will ensure that they will represent their residents effectively and work hard for their needs.

"I know that as Leader of the Independent Group at Maldon we will be able to create the positive change that is needed at the Council and across the district, to enable the Council to keep on delivering in these very challenging times.

"I would like to thank the Officers of the Council for their hard work, and I know the Independent Group looks forward to continuing the positive working relationship it has built with the Officers of the Council.

"As the new Leader of the Independent Group, I want to work in an inclusive manner will all members of the Council, to ensure that we work for the benefit of the Council and therefore the residents.

"There is now an opportunity for all members to work together and I hope that is recognised by the members of other groups within the Council.

"To move the Council forward, we need to ensure that the vision and strategy is shared by everyone so that we can meet the challenges the district will face in the future.

"I look forward to leading the Independent Group and ensuring we meet the needs of the district both now and in the long term."