THE Mayor of Ilminster has congratulated one of the town council's own for landing a top post in the new Somerset County Council.

County and town councillor Val Keitch will take a lead role in shaping the future of local government in the county.

She has been appointed as the lead member for local government reorganisation and prosperity at County Hall.

The county council, which is made up of members voted in at elections earlier this month, will disappear along with the four district councils in Somerset to be replaced by a unitary countywide authority from next April.

After Cllr Keitch was given her new roll, Ilminster's Mayor, Cllr Leanne Taylor, wished her all the best for "a very busy and we hope successful ten months" in the run up to the new authority".

Cllr Taylor added: "I wish Val and all the members of Somerset County Council a successful and productive period ahead of the new authority starting.

"There will be challenges for all involved and having worked with Cllr Keitch for the past few years in both her district and town council positions she has all the right qualities to make this a success for all the people in both Ilminster and the fantastic county that is Somerset.

"Exciting opportunities are there to be forged and built upon in the future.”