A NEW mayor of Skipton to replace Peter Madeley, who has come to the end of his extended term, is expected to be elected at Thursday’s annual meeting of the town council.

The meeting - held remotely via Zoom - will also see the election of a new council leader to replace Councillor Robert Heseltine, who earlier this year narrowly lost a vote of no confidence.

In August, a joint motion by councillors Darren Shaw and Richard Judge called the vote against their former party colleague, accusing him of causing ‘disharmony’ on the council and demanding he resign as leader and as chairman of the finance and policy committee.

At the extraordinary meeting - held physically, with strict measures in place, but against the guidance of the National Association of Local Councils, and with one member leaving after saying she was not prepared to risk the health of attendees, the entire staff - including the chief officer, Dave Parker, came out in support of Cllr Heseltine.

The motion was voted through by six votes to five, with two abstentions, including the mayor, Cllr Madeley.

Cllr Heseltine, who has remained in office since the August meeting, has said he has no wish to stay on as leader. “I have said for several months I would be standing down as leader at the annual general meeting and I am a man of my word," he said.

It is understood the council’s chief officer, Dave Parker, who has been with the authority for 14 years, has this week left the council by ‘mutual consent’. Earlier in the year, two other members of staff also left the council.

The annual meeting of the town council on Thursday will be held via Zoom and is due to start at 7pm.