A YORK councillor will step down from the city’s council cabinet next year to become Lord Mayor.

Coun Julie Gunnell, who represents the Micklegate ward, will leave her position as City of York Council’s cabinet member for corporate services when she is formally sworn in next May. The Labour councillor will take over from the present Lord Mayor, Coun Keith Hyman. She said: “It’s a huge honour to be chosen and something I’m incredibly proud of as a York woman, born and bred.

“I’m excited already about the opportunity to meet all the different local groups and individuals who make the role of Lord Mayor such an interesting and rewarding one. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on the cabinet and will miss it, but I didn’t want to pass up this wonderful opportunity.”

Council leader James Alexander said that, as a cabinet member, Coun Gunnell had helped ensure the council’s 2011/12 budget balanced and said: “I’m confident she will do so again this year before becoming Lord Mayor, by which time the council will be moving into its new home at West Office”.

Coun Gunnell’s cabinet replacement will be confirmed next May.