TIM Pollard has been elected as the leader of the Conservatives in Croydon following the resignation of Mike Fisher.
Cllr Fisher stepped down earlier this month after it emerged he had secretly accepted a £10,000 pay rise.
Cllr Pollard, one of two deputy leaders, was selected to replace him at a group meeting on Saturday evening (September 20).
The vacant deputy leader position has been filled by Selsdon and Ballards councillor Sara Bashford. Cllr Dudley Mead remains as the other deputy.
In a statement on Croydon Conservatives' website, Cllr Pollard said the appointment was a "great honour".
"We are at a critical point in the fortunes of our town, so being a positive and effective opposition is very important," he said.
"The new Labour administration has continued the policies set by the former Conservative administration in many areas, but in others it is pursuing its own ideas and we need to scrutinise these areas carefully to make sure the town's best interests are being looked after.
"Labour made much of the increase in fly tipping in recent years and told residents it was all the fault of the Conservative administration. Since it took power in May, fly tipping has gone up by over 50%, so Labour councillors need to be aware that we will be holding them to account for this, together with other areas where the wheels come off the wagon".
Cllr Pollard was cabinet member for children, families and learning until the Conservatives lost May's local election after eight years in power.
He was in charge of Croydon's schools during a period when all but one council-led secondary was converted into an academy, as well as a number of primary schools.
Cllr Bashford said she would remain in her position as the group's lead on the scrutiny committee.
"I am looking forward to working positively with Labour when it is in the interests of the town to do so and being more critical where we see them making mistakes," she said.
Cllr Mead said: "I have enjoyed working with Tim over the six years we have been co-Deputy-Leaders and I know we will continue to work well together now he has taken the Group Leader role. Sara and I also work extremely well together in Selsdon ward, and I am looking forward to the fresh perspectives she will bring to the leadership team."