Cllr Lynn Riley, leader of Cheshire West Conservatives, has stepped down following last week’s local elections.
Cllr Riley explained she believes the time is right for her to stand aside as her party was unable to convince voters to back them in sufficient numbers to regain the majority they lost in 2015.
Cheshire West and Chester Council now heads into a state of no overall control, with the conservatives on 28 seats and Labour on 35 seats.
Labour narrowly missed out on retaining its control fully – 36 seats are required for an overall majority.
Cllr Riley is the borough’s Frodsham councillor, and will be been replaced by Cllr Margaret Parker, who represents Gowy Rural.
Cllr Parker -who has formerly been leader of Chester City Council – now moves up from her role as deputy Conservative group leader to become group leader.
Cllr Riley told local journalists: “I have chosen to step down. I have led the group since 2016 and I was elected to lead them to win the local elections – which we obviously did not.
“I felt it was appropriate and proper for me to step down and allow the group to set off under fresh leadership for a new challenge under no overall control – and to provide the council with an opportunity to engage fully with the Conservative councillors without any baggage from the previous administration.”
She added: “I will remain a full and supportive member of the team and will do everything I can to represent the people that put us here and deliver on what I believed was a very progressive plan.
“Just because we are not in control of the council, it does not diminish our ambitions for our residents.”
The new council now also contains four independent councillors, two Liberal Democrat councillors and one Green councillor.
Cllr Riley remained upbeat about the role her party will play in the new administration.
She commented: “We have got some amazing new talent on the Conservative side of the chamber and we will put that to good use.
“I’m personally quite optimistic that the council being in no overall control should make for a better council with better policy.”
She concluded by saying: “I would hope that Cllr Dixon would be a woman of her word – she had a lot to say about doing things together and making stronger communities at the count, and I think some communities have felt quite weakened by four years of Labour control.”