IAN Edwards was appointed the new leader of Hillingdon Council at a full council meeting on Thursday (14).

He replaces Sir Ray Puddifoot, the council’s longest-serving leader, who will remain a councillor for Ickenham until the next election in May 2022.

Under Cllr Puddifoot’s leadership, Hillingdon was able to freeze council tax bills for more than a decade between 2008 and 2018.

As Older People’s Champion, he oversaw the the Brown Badge parking scheme, free burglar alarms, free swimming and lessons, tea dances plus a free TeleCareLine for over-75s.

He was made an MBE for services to the community in 2012, and last year was knighted. 

Cllr Edwards praised Hillingdon people for coming together to support each other during the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “Many have volunteered to help frontline services and others have quietly looked out for their neighbours.” 

He pledged to find ways to bolster support for young people and young families, as well as tackling climate issues, increasing the supply of affordable housing and dealing more robustly with anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Edwards has lived in the borough since 1982 and is a former police officer, rising to Borough Commander for Richmond before retiring in 2007. 

He first became a councillor in 2014, initially in Yiewsley. Since 2018, he has represented his home ward of Eastcote and East Ruislip.