Birmingham’s Labour councillors have selected a popular back bencher and keen hill walker to be the city’s next Lord Mayor.
Coun Carl Rice, a former chairman of the council’s leisure services committee, has represented Ladywood since 1987.
The 59-year-old will take over as Birmingham’s First Citizen from Lib Dem councillor Ray Hassall in May.
Labour councillors made him Lord Mayor elect in a private meeting ahead of Tuesday's council budget meeting.
He said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be my party’s nominee for Lord Mayor of the great City of Birmingham.
"I look forward to what will be an exciting year - one that I will use to celebrate and promote Birmingham’s greatest asset - its people.”
Coun Rice is due to retire after 20 years from his outside job as chief executive of Walsall Citizen’s Advice Bureau in the spring.
In his spare time he a keen hill walker and a ‘Munro Bagger’, someone who aims to climb all 282 Munro mountains of Scotland. Coun Rice has so far reached the summit of 211.
He was chairman of the council’s scrutiny division for three years until last May, a role in which he was highly regarded by councillors of all parties – seen as fair and not afraid to criticise Labour bosses when it was required .
Last month a previous candidate for the prestigious role, Aston councillor Muhammad Afzal, was forced to resign after becoming mired in controversy over comments made about Prime Minister David Cameron and the Government’s anti-extremism agenda.