Former mayor takes over as council leader

Cllr Frank Pearson
Cllr Frank Pearson
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FORMER mayor Frank Pearson has been made the new leader of Winchester City Council following the resignation of Tory Robert Humby.

Cllr Humby quit the role on Tuesday following a High Court judgement over Silver Hill – a £165m shopping development.

The High Court ruled the council had acted ‘unlawfully’ over the development plans.

Conservative Cllr Pearson represents Swanmore and Newtown and has been a city councillor for 12 years.

He promised an independent review on Silver Hill.

Cllr Pearson said: ‘I’m looking to all parties to adopt a co-operative approach so that we can move forward.’

He has a wealth of council experience, having served on most of the committees and he was cabinet member for environment from 2006 until 2010.

Cllr Pearson, pictured, was also Winchester’s 813th mayor in 2012-13.

He said: ‘I’m grateful for the trust placed in me by colleagues to lead the council at this challenging time.

‘I believe that my wide experience across the council’s services will stand me in good stead.

‘I will listen to residents’ voices – which we must recognise can be contradictory – and seek to restore their faith in us.’

The content of cabinet portfolios is unchanged and the council has no overall control with the Conservatives holding 28 seats, Liberal Democrats have 25, Labour has three and there is one Independent councillor.