A POLITICAL group has named a new leader.
Putting Hartlepool First, the second largest party on Hartlepool Borough Council, now has councillor Keith Dawkins as group leader.
The change was announced at a meeting of the full council and it marks a remarkable rise for Coun Dawkins, who was only elected as a councillor in May 2012.
Coun Dawkins, who represents the Jesmond Ward, said: “I am very proud to be the new leader of Putting Hartlepool First and look forward to the challenges ahead.
“A few years ago, before I was a councillor, I would never have thought this would happen. But I am looking forward to it,” added the retired electrician, 74.
The change in leadership is due to personal reasons.
Coun Dawkins takes over the reins from councillor Alison Lilley.
Putting Hartlepool First councillor Geoff Lilley is deputy leader and will remain the party spokesman.
Coun Lilley said: “I am pleased Coun Dawkins has stepped into the breach and I am sure he will do a fine job.
“He is really keen and I’m sure the party will progress under his leadership.”
Coun Dawkins is a member of Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy, neighbourhood services, regeneration services, licensing and civic honours committees.