Councillor Jason Brock became leader of the council officially last night at Reading’s Borough Council’s AGM.

The Southcote ward councillor thanked Cllr Jo Lovelock for her tenure as leader over the last eight years.

Cllr Brock said Cllr Lovelock had ‘demonstrated leadership in difficult circumstances and been a fantastic friend and mentor’.

He added: “I have big shoes to fill.”

Departing council leader Jo Lovelock backed the new leader.

She said he is ‘quick to understand things but also listens’.

Cllr Lovelock also thanked Cllr Tony Page for their ‘partnership’.

Cllr Tony Page will remain in his roles as deputy leader of the council and lead member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport.

Other changes to the executive were also confirmed including Cllr Karen Rowland replacing Cllr Sarah Hacker as lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation.

Councillor Emberson has taken over Cllr Brock’s role as Corporate and Consumer services lead, becoming the youngest RBC executive member.

Other changes include Cllr Emmett McKenna replacing Cllr Chris Maskell as chairman of the Planning Applications committee.

A new mayor was also confirmed, with Cllr Paul Woodward taking over the ceremonial role from Cllr Debs Edwards.

Councillor David Stevens was appointed as deputy mayor.