Olivia Lyons was first elected as a district councillor just three years ago, when she unseated former cabinet member Mick Grocott in Western Springs.
She went on to become opposition group leader a year later – and this month the 29-year-old has been elected the new leader of the council after the Conservatives gained control from the Labour group.
Councillor Lyons described taking the leadership as an “exciting opportunity to repave the path ahead” for Cannock Chase as it looks towards recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
She is also a member of Rugeley Town Council, as well as being involved with Rugeley in Bloom, Rugeley Youth Council and Forest Hills Primary School, and is keen to see younger people in the council chamber alongside the older demographic more commonly associated with local government to ensure a wider range of residents are represented.
She said: “That’s one of the reasons I initially got involved and that’s what needed to change.
“When I was first elected one of the first comments I got in the council chamber was ‘young lass’. It proves we have got to keep going.
“Our group is considerably younger this time – we have got an 18-year-old who has just been elected. We have a range of age groups and backgrounds and I think you need that. It gives you a different perspective on everything.
“Our overall votes have increased over the past six years across the district. We have engaged with residents and they have placed their confidence in us.
“I would like to thank each and every person who participated in the elections. We will work tirelessly to repay that trust, regardless of how individuals voted.
“We are here to represent all residents of Cannock Chase and I hope opposition members will work with us.”
Former council leader George Adamson will now become the opposition group leader. At the authority's annual council meeting he congratulated Councillor Lyons on becoming the new leader and wished her well.