The newly appointed leader of Southend Council has promised residents and rival politicians there will be a change in the way local politics is conducted.

The promise from Conservative Tony Cox comes after his party suffered a bruising result in the local election that saw them lose their majority on the council.

He said: “I recognise that our administration did not get everything right and in the coming days we will be announcing a number of new policies that we will be implementing very quickly.

“Following the election results last week, we respected the vote and allowed the opposition groups the time and space to agree who will be leader and to form an administration.

“Sadly, they couldn't agree on what day of the week it is, let alone who can be leader of the council. The results left no one party with a clear majority and the town could have been left without an administration.

“Regardless of the politics, bins still need to be emptied, children still need to be taught and the vulnerable need to be cared for. Therefore, due to the political impasse, we will run a minority administration. I was clear in my speech at the count following my re-election, this council needs to change the way it does its politics.

“I recognise that the last administration did not get everything right.”

Among the changes he aims to introduce to ensure the council can run smoothly in a minority is greater cooperation with opposition parties by providing them with “unrestricted access” to briefings with portfolio holders, allowing the parties the help shape policy before it goes to cabinet.

He is also creating two new cabinet posts, with one focussing solely on the Environment and another focussing on Culture, Sport and Tourism.

He says he hopes the posts will increase democracy in the council and promised they will not cost the taxpayer, as cabinet members will be asked to take a cut in their pay.

"This cabinet will be a listening cabinet who will work with opposition groups, on an issue by issue basis for the good of the town,” he continued.

"We are working on and hope to announce shortly a number of exciting and radical policies that we will seek to implement in the next few months."

The first of these policies are likely to be announced at a cabinet meeting on June 18.

The full list of proposed cabinet members to be confirmed at a meeting next week are:

• Meg Davidson as Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing

• Daniel Nelson as Portfolio Holder for Community Safety

Derek Jarvis as Portfolio Holder for Culture, Sport and Tourism,

• Lesley Salter as Portfolio Holder for Health & Adult Social Care

• Helen Boyd as Portfolio Holder for Children and Learning

• Kevin Buck as Portfolio Holder for Transport

• Alex Bright as Portfolio Holder for the Environment

• Andrew Moring as Portfolio Holder for IT, Corporate & Community Support