DEVON County Council’s outgoing leader John Hart has been nominated to become chairman of the council.

Cllr Hart (Conservative, Bickleigh and Wembury), who is standing down as leader of Devon County Council in May, has been chosen by his party to take on the largely ceremonial role.

He will retain his constituency duties if confirmed in the role, but has said he won’t stand for re-election as a councillor in 2025.

The chairman position changes at the council’s annual meeting, which will be held on Thursday, May 23 this year.

The post is currently held by Cllr Percy Prowse (Conservative, Duryard and Pennsylvania), a retired police officer who served for 32 years, spent mostly covering Exeter’s St James and St David’s wards.

He has represented Duryard and Pennsylvania on the county council since 2009 and was also formerly an Exeter City councillor for Duryard.

The most public-facing part of the chairman role is attending civic and ceremonial functions, and promoting public involvement in the council’s activities.

The chairman is also responsible for chairing full council meetings, and has the power to call extraordinary meetings.

The vice-chair nomination has gone to Cllr Pru Maskell (Conservative, Braunton Rural), with this appointment too likely to be confirmed at the same time as Cllr Hart.

The current vice-chair role is Cllr Colin Slade (Conservative, Tiverton East), who has also served on Tiverton Town Council and Mid Devon District Council.

A former professional broadcaster for more than 40 years, he still presents a weekly show on Devon’s Radio Exe.

By Bradley Gerrard