New leader of Torridge says she will ‘try her damndest’ to get it right and make council work together.

There was a clear divide in the room on Monday evening as Torridge District Council elected its new cabinet.

Councillor Jane Whittaker, leader of the Torridge and West Devon Conservatives, was elected as the new leader, with former Torridge leader and fellow Conservative James Morrish as her deputy.

Jane, who received 31 of 36 votes in favour of her leadership. was adament the council would 'work together for the benefit of Torridge'.

But some decisions were more evenly split, with Conservatives Mervyn Langmead taking the position as chairman and John Himan as vice chairman.

Both votes had an almost 50/50 divide between the Conservatives and the UKIP and non-aligned parties.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Whittaker told the Gazette: "We need to keep this council as cohesive as possible; it is very important to me that we all work together.

"I have a background working in health and social care and I have always worked with people - it's something I believe in.

"I do care about getting it right. I won't be able to get it right all the time but I will do my damndest and I think people forgive a lot if you try hard to do that."

Cllr Whittaker also paid tribute to former leaders Philip Collins and Roger Johnson - neither of whom stood for re-election.

She added: "I am looking forward to moving Torridge forward now with James by my side.

"He has been there and done this before and I am going to need him by my side."

The Conservatives also took all but three of the chairman and vice chairman positions on council committees.