A new leader and chairman have taken over at North Norfolk District Council after the two key posts became vacant for different reasons.

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Tom FitzPatrick is the new political leader of the Conservative-controlled council following the death of predecessor Keith Johnson, who earlier this month shot his wife Andrea before turning the gun on himself at their Cromer home.

Peter Moore is the new civic head as chairman after John Perry-Warnes stepped down from the role due to ill health. He was vice-chairman, a role now taken by Lindsay Brettle.

A joint funeral for Mr and Mrs Johnson is being held at Cromer church at 1pm tomorrow, Friday, which many councillors and officials will attend.

During pre-meeting prayers the vicar of Cromer, Canon the Rev Dr David Court, asked members to remember Mr Johnson - as well as former councillor Larry Randall whose funeral was this week - for all the work they did for the district.

It had been a “traumatic time” for many people who where trying to ”understand and make sense of it all,” he added.

At the close of the meeting Mr Moore said Friday would be “a difficult time for us.”

Mr Moore is a former planning officer at the council who served from 1974 to 1993. He became a councillor in 2003, is a former mayor of North Walsham and spent four years as a county councillor.

Retired school librarian Mrs Brettle from Letheringsett is in her second term as a councillor.

Mr FitzPatrick, a 58-year-old IT security consultant who lives at Walsingham, joined the council in May 2011 and has been a cabinet member whose resposnbilities included economic development, IT and customer services.

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