The independent leader of Torridge District Council has been re-elected for another year.

Councillor Ken James, who represents Milton & Tamarside, was previously deputy leader before taking the top job in 2020.

Having begun his first term in October 2005, he has been a member of the council for almost 18 years.

This month’s election resulted in the independents remaining the largest group in Torridge with 16 councillors, albeit with two fewer councillors than following the 2019 election.

The 36-seat council is under no overall control with the Liberal Democrats now the second largest party after quadrupling their number of councillors from two to eight.

The Conservatives now have six members while the Greens have four and Labour two.

The vote to reappoint Cllr James as leader was taken at the council’s AGM on Monday. He was last year praised as being “a good steady hand” by fellow Independent Robert Hicks.

Cllr Claire Hodgson (Independent, Westward Ho!) was also re-elected as deputy leader of the council.