New leader for Conservatives

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A new leader has been appointed for the Conservative party on Hastings Borough Council.

Councillor Matthew Lock was voted in by his fellow members last week.

He replaced councillor Robert Cooke who stepped down earlier this month due to work commitments.

Cllr Lock was elected in the St Helens ward in May at the local elections and has previously represented Silverhill ward.

Cllr Liam Atkins was elected as deputy leader replacing councillor Andrew Gurney.

He becomes one of the youngest deputy leaders in south east.

He is a self-employed Internet marketing consultant.

Cllr Lock said: “As a former teacher and part time carer, I understand the key issues that affect the borough of Hastings.

“I am fortunate to lead an enthusiastic group of councillors who are motivated to resolve problems in Hastings and St Leonards and ensure that we promote our area.

“Leading up to the budget we will be listening to what residents say and ensuring they know about the good work of our MP Amber Rudd.”

Cllr Atkins said: “I’m so pleased to be supporting Cllr Lock and proud to be leading such a close, proactive group of councillors.

“My goal as deputy leader over the next few years is to hold Labour to account while doing our bit to help create a strong local economy where local businesses can thrive, create jobs, wealth and opportunities for all.”

Cllr Cooke was one of the youngest leaders of the Conservative Party in Hastings when he was appointed in May 2012 at the local elections.