THE outgoing leader of Worcester City Council has spoken of his sadness at being axed from the role after just one year in office.
Councillor Adrian Gregson packed up his belongings at the council's Orchard House headquarters yesterday morning after Tuesday night's shock coup.
The veteran Labour stalwart, who was booted out after the Tories put forward a 'no confidence' motion on his leadership, admitted he didn't see it coming.
"My main emotion is disappointment - we put a plan and a budget in place and haven't been given the chance to implement it," he said.
"My time as leader was busy, exciting, interesting, eye-opening, it was a real privilege - and too short."
He said among the biggest achievements when running the city was giving staff the Living Wage of £7.45 an hour, carrying on the High Street revamp, launching a potential City of Culture bid and earmarking more money towards affordable housing.
The council also helped bring the Tour of Britain cycle race back to Worcester, approved a £900,000 planned revamp of the Diglis playing fields and adopted a blueprint for regenerating Angel Place.
The axed leader is now back in his familiar role as leader of the opposition Labour group, a position he has held throughout this century until last year's power grab.
Unlike many council leaders he also kept his day job, working inside the archives and archaeology department at The Hive, where he was back at work yesterday.
Cllr Gregson, who represents Rainbow Hill, also took a swipe at the new Conservative leadership by saying he fully expects to be sidelined in terms of ideas.
"When we took over last year there was a lot of talk about how close the votes are, and they said there were things and ideas we could all agree with," he said.
"But it's just talk. I now have fear of what will come next and what will happen to our plans."
He said rather than anger, his focus now is building on his time as leader to provide serious opposition.
"I don't have much faith that what's gone on is just about what's right for Worcester," he said.
His position as leader of the Labour group is not considered under threat.