MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council has chosen a new chairman to serve for the next 12 months.

Councillor Peter Clarke was elected at the council’s annual general meeting on May 8 following nomination by council leader Peter Fox.

Cllr Fox said: "I have every confidence that once again Peter will make an excellent chairman.” This will be councillor Clarke’s second time as chairman following his term of office in the year leading up to May 2011.

Cllr Clarke was a member of Gwent County Council for eight years before election to the newly-created Monmouthshire County Council in 1996. He represents the Llangybi Fawr ward and is a governor on the boards of Usk Church-in-Wales School and Caerleon Comprehensive School.

As a quantity surveyor, he worked on the A40 Ross-on-Wye to Monmouth dual carriageway improvement in the early 1960s.

Leaders of the council’s political groups paid tribute to the work performed by outgoing chairwoman, Cllr Maureen Powell, on her year of office.

Cllr Fox said: "As leader of Monmouthshire County Council I sincerely thank you for being a first-rate chairman over the past twelve months."

Cllr Sheila Woodhouse was elected vice-chairman of the council.