ROB Humby was officially confirmed as the new leader of Winchester City Council at a full council meeting at the Guildhall last night.

The politician, who represents the Owslebury, Durley, Curdridge and Upham ward for the Conservative Party has been a city councillor for seven years and has been leader of the Conservative Group since March. he replaced Keith Wood who retired last month.

Married with three children, Cllr Humby comes from a background of small business, having previously run his successful plant nursery and engineering firm for nearly two decades.

In his time as a councillor, Mr Humby has been closely involved with economic development, planning and promoting tourism.

Speaking after his appointment as leader, he said: “The public has put a lot of faith in the Conservative group and we must make sure that we live up to expectations. We need to produce results for the people of Winchester.”

He was also keen to set-out his priorities for the year ahead: "Across the Winchester district there are many people, families and small businesses which depend on a strong and vibrant local economy to survive and thrive.

"We need to make sure that we are doing everything possible to boost and promote our local economy and to bring investment and jobs to our area for the benefit of the people of the Winchester District"

George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley, which includes Rob’s ward, was delighted to hear of his appointment.

“I’ve known Rob for many years and I can’t think of anyone better to run Winchester City Council. He is one of the most hardworking councillors I know and is certainly up to the challenge.”

Winchester MP, Steve Brine, added; "In terms of seats won, Rob Humby has the clearest mandate of any city leader in a decade so I hope he will move ahead with confidence to further change the District for the better. I look forward to working with the administration as part of a strong local team delivering important policies such as the new council housing so desperately needed in the city."