Councillor David Green has been elected as the new leader of Bradford Council for a four-year term.

He was appointed following a vote at the Council’s annual meeting yesterday at City Hall. As well as the support of the 45-strong Labour group which he heads, Coun Green was backed by the Greens and by independent councillors.

The Liberal Democrats, with eight seats, voted against his appointment, while both the 24-strong Conservative group and the five Respect councillors abstained.

Labour has controlled the Council for the past two years as a minority administration with Ian Greenwood at the helm. But Mr Greenwood lost his seat to Respect at local elections earlier this month, and Coun Green was subsequently voted in as leader of the group.

His was the only nomination for leader of the Council at today’s meeting.

Following his appointment, he told the Telegraph & Argus: “I am very proud to have been elected leader of Bradford Council. We have got some serious challenges ahead of us as well as some great opportunities. I will be striving to lead the Council in as open and democratic a way as possible, seeking views across the board to help tackle the challenges we are facing.”

In addition, councillors at the annual meeting voted to reform the Council’s committee structure, reducing the number of panels by two saving up to £30,000 through a reduction in the number of chairmen claiming a special responsibility allowance.

Labour will continue to chair the key committee. Four of the five remaining scrutiny committees will be chaired by the Conservatives. The final scrutiny committee will continue to be chaired by the Greens.

The number of members of the six scrutiny committees will also be increased from six to nine. And the work of Shipley and Keighley area planning panels will be merged into one committee.

Important changes in the way the executive and overview and scrutiny committees interact were also voted through, despite disagreement from the Liberal Democrats. Two years ago it was agreed that all executive decisions must first be subject to pre-decision scrutiny, and therefore be discussed first at overview and scrutiny. This will now be scrapped as it clogged up agendas and delayed decision making.