Brian Long is stepping down as leader of West Norfolk Council.

West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long is stepping down after five years at the helm.

Stuart Dark has been chosen as the next Conservative group leader and is expected to formally take over on Thursday.

Mr Long said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as leader of the borough council and group leader and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved in that time, not least of which providing much needed housing across the borough, dealing with challenging budgetary pressures, Brexit and of course responding to the national pandemic that has impacted on so many people and businesses. 

“The time is right for a new leader to continue our direction of travel and to help shape the future of West Norfolk in this new post-pandemic environment.

“I invited Stuart to join the Cabinet specifically because of his background in emergency response, and he has proven himself in the way he has guided us through this pandemic. He has a wealth of experience that will serve him well in this role.”

Stuart Dark has been chosen as the new leader.

Mr Dark, cabinet member for environmental services and public protection, said: “Brian is a very well respected member of the group and a well respected member of the borough and county council. I am looking forward to taking on this role and know that I will be heavily relying on his knowledge and experience.”

Mr Dark was awarded an MBE last October for services to the community in Snettisham.