Letchworth South East councillor David Levett has been elected as the new leader of the North Hertfordshire District Council Conservative Group.

Councillor Levett has been on North Herts District Council since 2006, and is currently the executive member for planning, transport and enterprise as well as holding leading positions on other committees.

He was chairman of the council between 2010 and 2011, and takes over as leader of the North Herts Conservatives after Councillor Lynda Needham lost her seat by drawing straws in May 3's local elections.

The council now consists of 22 Conservatives, 16 Labour councillors and 11 Lib Dems - meaning no party has overall control.

After being named as the party's new leader, Councillor Levett said: "On behalf of the Conservative Group I would like to thank Lynda Needham for all she has done over the many years she has served on the District Council.

"She will be a hard act to follow and her knowledge and experience will be a great loss to the council.

"We now find ourselves in a position where no single party has overall control of North Hertfordshire District Council and we see this as a time of change and an opportunity for all parties on the council to work together, set aside their political differences and get on with providing the best possible services to the people and businesses in North Hertfordshire.

"Our Conservative Group is still the biggest party by a long way and we still have control of three of the five area committees, but times change and we would really welcome the help of our local Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats to make sure we deliver a new way of doing things, a clear agreement on our way forward and delivered, with their help, for you.

"I will talk to both the Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties in the next few days to see how they can help, if they will, to plan how we can all move forward, together.

"We will as a council take a new direction, work together, let people know what we plan to do and what we have done as often as we can.

"We will listen to what you tell us, help you find out what you want and then deliver it, when we can, as fast as we can, and we will do it right.

"I want all of us, on the council and all of our great staff at NHDC, to work with us and to achieve this I will be proposing that we set up a cross-party team working to take a comprehensive look at the way we do things here at NHDC so that we have a council that is 'fit for purpose' and that will take a longer term strategic approach to how we make things better for all of us.

"The council's motto on its Coat of Arms 'Memores Acti Prudentes Futuri' translates as 'We are mindful of the past and careful for the future'.

"Over the last 20 years this council has achieved some really wonderful things for us all and I will make sure, with the help and co-operation of everyone, that we continue to do so.

"There are some challenging times ahead for NHDC and if all parties can co-operate and work together for our people we will meet that challenge, learn from past experiences we have shared and deliver a bright future for us all."

The leader of NHDC will be elected on Tuesday.