A new chairman of Braintree Council has been appointed.

Conservative councillor Angela Kilmartin has taken up the role after previous chairman Vanessa Santomauro stepped down.

Mrs Kilmartin’s old position of vice chairman has meanwhile been taken up by fellow Tory and Witham Central councillor Sue Wilson.

Speaking during the council’s AGM and first meeting since the local elections, Mrs Kilmartin said: “To now have the absolute thrill and privilege – I’ve heard other people say standing up here for the first time it’s a privilege and an honour and when you are standing here you realise looking at all these faces it is really special.

“Thank you to everyone for putting me up here.”

Before Mrs Kilmartin’s appointment, councillors from the four different parties paid tribute to the outgoing Ms Santomauro, who took part in 137 engagements during her year in office.

Council chief executive Andy Wright presented Ms Santomauro with a citation book and past chairman badge.

He said: “What has been absolutely tremendous is the effort you have put into the role.

“A huge thank you and really well done.”