NEWPORT council has appointed a new chief executive to replace Tracey Lee who is leaving this month, the authority announced yesterday.

Will Godfrey, a Bristol City Council officer, is to take up the position as head of the council’s paid service in early January.

The appointment comes after a meeting of councillors last week to choose who was to follow Ms Lee, who is leaving her post as managing director to take up a job as chief executive of Plymouth City Council.

The council said the move was unanimously approved.

Mr Godfrey said yesterday he is looking forward to immersing himself in the city.

He said: “A proud and ambitious city, Newport is well placed to thrive in the future and I want to play my part in supporting the council to invest in local communities, providing the necessary leadership to the organisation to face the future with real optimism.”

Newport City Council leader Cllr Bob Bright said: “The head of paid service is a vitally important role for both the council and the city. I look forward to welcoming Will to our great city, and working with him in the new year.”

Ms Lee is to leave the organisation on Thursday. Interim arrangements are due to be announced at that time.