CAERPHILLY council leader Lindsay Whittle expects to stay in the role for a few more weeks while a replacement is selected and settles in.

Cllr Whittle will stand down from the post he has held for eight years after winning a South Wales East regional seat at last week's Assembly elections.

The new Plaid Cymru AM is likely to outline his position at tomorrow's council AGM.

At that meeting, a new mayor and deputy leaders of the council will be named, but deputy leader Allan Pritchard said the issue of a new leader will take longer.

He said: "Cllr Whittle will make his annual statement, where he will inform us of his intentions and we will look into what happens then.'

Cllr Pritchard and Cllr Colin Mann are deputy leaders, but Cllr Whittle refused to be drawn on who would make a good replacement, saying "there are quite a few able candidates".

He added: "I won't suddenly resign. We will have a break-in period for the new leader, it will be a gradual process."

However, he said he would like to continue sitting on the council, combining it with his Assembly role.

He said: "It's been a privilege and is something I don't want to give up. But, while I'd like to stay on at least until the council elections in 2012, I have this bigger role now.

"Most AMs are expected to have just one role, so I will have to see what this will involve before I can commit to serving it out."