THE new deputy leader of a North East council has spoken of his excitement and the challenging times ahead.

Andy Keir has been appointed deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council.

He takes over the role from Councillor Jonathan Dulston, who was last week elected council leader following the resignation of Cllr Heather Scott.

Read more: Who is Darlington's new council leader - what does he have in mind for the town?

Cllr Keir said he feels "honoured" at being appointed deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council, adding: "It is with great excitement that I step into this important role during these changing and challenging times.

"I hope that I provide the new leader with the necessary support to emulate the success for Darlington that the previous leadership team demonstrated over the past three years.

"It would be remiss of me not to mention our previous leader, Cllr Heather Scott, OBE - her leadership was exemplar and she deserve all the accolades that she has received for what she achieved for Darlington."

Cllr Keir added: "We are currently living through extraordinary times - nonetheless, residents have reasons to look forward with enthusiasm and excitement as we continue to deliver success for Darlington through the various projects that are currently are in progress or planned in the future, whilst maintaining the services residents expect and deserve.

"Hence, for continuity when I move into the deputy leader's role I will retain my cabinet responsibilities as portfolio holder for local services. Let’s go."

Cllr Dulston said: "I am absolutely delighted to appoint Andy Kier to the role of deputy leader of the council.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Jonathan DulstonCllr Jonathan Dulston

"I have worked with Andy on cabinet for the last two years and have every confidence in his leadership as we begin the next chapter of our journey to deliver success for Darlington." 

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