Tendring Council leader Neil Stock has today announced his new cabinet - which includes Conservatives, independents and councillors from the breakaway Ukip group.

The Tory group leader was elected as council leader at the authority's annual meeting on Tuesday.

The Conservatives lost their overall majority on the council following a surge in support for Ukip at the local elections on May 7.

But the Conservatives will continue to run the council with the support of the independent group and the breakaway Ukip group.

The Ukip group split following a disagreement over working with the Tories - less than three weeks after the election.

The new administration will now include Conservatives, independents and councillors from the 'Tendring Ukip' breakaway group.

As well as being leader Neil Stock (Con, Ardleigh) will be responsible for asset management.

The new portfolio holder for regeneration is Giles Watling (Con, Frinton) and the post will also include inward investment.

Nick Turner (Con, Frinton) will be the coastal protection portfolio holder, which includes responsibility for seafronts.

Environment will be headed by Michael Talbot (Ind, St Osyth) and that will cover engineering, environmental, horticultural, bereavement and parking services.

Tom Howard (Ind, Gt & Lt Oakley) is heading finance and transformation, while Paul Honeywood (Con, Pier) is housing portfolio holder.

The portfolio holder for revenue and benefits is John Hughes, (Tendring Ukip, St James).

Carlo Guglielmi (Con, Manningtree) continues in his post as portfolio holder for planning and corporate services, which includes planning and the Local Plan.

Lynda McWilliams (Con, Gt Bentley) carries on as portfolio holder for wellbeing and partnerships, covering health and wellbeing and community services.

The new leisure portfolio holder is Tendring Ukip group leader Mick Skeels (St Johns) and his role will cover leisure, tourism and events.

Mr Stock said: “I met today with the council’s chief executive and the group leaders on the cabinet and we have spoken about a few ideas and projects to go forward.

“We are confident we can run this council as a stable administration for four years. Jobs and employment across the district is what we want to focus on.

“We all come from different political backgrounds and it is raw because we have all just fought elections, but we all have to put that behind us.

“It’s a really exciting time and we are up for the challenge.”

Labour group leader Ivan Henderson hit out at Mr Stock for increasing the number of cabinet members from seven to ten.

“It’s totally outrageous,” he said. “At a time when cuts are being made he is simply rewarding those who have supported him to be leader – and it’s costing the taxpayer.

“To have three more posts in the cabinet could cost more than £30,000 a year.

“The main reason the cabinet numbers were cut is because we now have just six departments – but now some departments will be doubling up on cabinet members.”

Ukip group leader Mark Stephenson also hit out at the move.

"When the council has to find a reduction of £2million to increase the cost to taxpayers by £30,000 a year is outrageous," he said.

But Mr Stock said the increase in the size of the cabinet is needed to accomodate councillors of different parties due to the new political make up of the administration.

He said: “I have put the cabinet back up to nine plus myself as the leader. I’m quite comfortable about it.

“The council has made significant cost savings with senior director posts over the past few years, however the work of the council – and the challenges we face – have not diminished.

“The election result that the residents of Tendring have given us is that no one group has enough seats to run the council on their own.

“I was aware of Mr Henderson’s views about it, but I think it is a little hypocritical – his Labour colleagues sat on a cabinet of ten just a few years ago.”