Irene Davidson - New Council Leader
Councillor Irene Davidson has been elected as the new Leader of Liberal Democrats and hence the Leader of Rochdale Council.
Councillor Davidson is currently the Deputy Leader of the Council and will replace current leader Alan Taylor following his decision to step down due to ill health.
The voting for the new leader began on Friday (18 December) and all nominations had to be in by 6.00pm this evening (Monday 21 December).
Mrs Davidson was overwhelmed that she had won, she told Rochdale Online: "I am over the moon; I am the first female leader of the Council and of the Lib Dem group.
"It is an honour to lead the Council in these very difficult times. I am thankful to have the support of all the parties and I hope to do the best I can for the people of the borough."
Councillor Davidson will become leader of the council on 13 January when Councillor Alan Taylor departs.
Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Greg Couzens was also considered to be in the running for the leadership, he had already said he thought Councillor Davidson would be the winner: "Irene has been Deputy Leader for a long time and over the last 12 months we have worked very closely with Alan (Taylor) being ill.
"Irene has put a lot of time and effort into the party and I can see things moving forward."
Councillor William Hobhouse described Councillor Davidson as a "worthy successor to Alan", he said: "Irene has done very well and I wish her all the best."