THE leader of Somerset County Council, Cllr Bill Revans, has revealed he has been diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Cllr Revans became leader of the council following the local elections in May, which saw his Liberal Democrats sweep to power after more than a decade of Conservative control.

He said he would continue to work remotely while awaiting surgery and in his absence, deputy leader Cllr Liz Leyshon would assume command.

Cllr Revans said: “Following a recent routine scan I was given the news that I have cancer of the kidney.

“Hospital staff have told me they expect to be able to operate shortly and I have been undergoing further tests to find out if it has spread.

“While I am waiting for the operation and the results of tests, I will be working remotely wherever possible to avoid picking up any bugs, and I have asked colleagues to cover duties when necessary.

“A massive thank you to my family, friends, and colleagues for their amazing support.”

Cllr Revans represents the North Petherton division and had previously served in opposition on the authority, which will become a unitary council next April and take over the functions of Somerset’s four district councils.

There are now less than five months before the implementation of the new unitary Somerset Council, during which time its first annual budget will have to be set.

Conservative group leader Cllr David Fothergill said: “Our thoughts and best wishes are with you Bill.”

Environment and climate change shadow portfolio holder Cllr Connor Payne said: “I hope the operation is a great success with a healthy recovery after.”