THE leader of an Oxfordshire council will stand down next month on him being given a bigger role as deputy police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley.

Matthew Barber has been the leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council for the last seven years.

Yesterday the Thames Valley Polcie and Crime Panel accepted a recommendation that Mr Barber's deputy PCC role becomes full-time next month.

He was appointed deputy PCC in December 2016 but his role was only part-time.

As part of that the move, his salary will increase from £45,000 to £65,000 a year.

Mr Barber will continue as a Vale councillor for Steventon and the Hanneys ward.

On his website, he wrote: "I am proud of the many achievements of the council over the years and to have played a part in serving the communities of the Vale during this time.

"I am extremely grateful for the support of my colleagues, council officers and many members of the public who have worked with the council to improve the place that we all love."

He added: "There are many things that I will reflect on with pride, including delivering a Local Plan, introducing two-hour free parking, managing to expand services with diminishing budgets as well as planning and delivering significant projects, from new leisure facilities to flood defences."

Mr Barber's successor will be selected by the Conservative Party and then formally voted in at the Vale's annual meeting on May 16.

He will start as full-time deputy to PCC Anthony Stansfeld a few days later on May 21.