Joan Spiers, the leader of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, has announced she will be stepping down from the post at the end of the municipal year.

Councillor Mrs Spiers, who has served two terms as leader, announced her intention at a meeting of the borough council last week.

She will step down at the annual council meeting of Thursday, June 12.

Deputy leader Coun Victor Broad paid tribute to Coun Spiers' 11 years of service as leader, saying: "As the leader's deputy, I would like to thank her for all the fantastic work, inspiring leadership and considerable effort she has made for the borough as leader of the council.”

He said: "Under Joan's leadership our drive, ambition and financial stability has been the envy of our peers and neighbours. “We have gone from strength to strength and she is leaving a legacy of a financially sound and well-managed council for her successor."

Coun Spiers served as leader from 2002 to 2007 and then from 2008.

A new leader will be appointed at the annual council meeting on June 12.