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A NEW leader has been chosen to represent the Liberal Democrats in Fareham.

Councillor Paul Whittle will be the new leader, taking over from Councillor Jim Forrest, who has led the group for two years. He has tendered his resignation for family reasons.

Cllr Forrest said: ‘A relative’s health means I could be called away from time to time, and in fairness to colleagues I should ensure that does not impinge on our work in the council.

‘Paul Whittle’s knowledge of business and economics has been of enormous assistance during my term as leader.

‘Handing over the reins to him will enable me to keep a better balance between the needs of my constituents in Stubbington, the welfare of my family, and the work of the Liberal Democrat group in putting forward a better alternative for Fareham.’

Cllr Whittle said: ‘Jim and others have shown good leadership before me and I am glad we still have that experience and wisdom in the team. It is important we are a strong voice for the people we represent in Fareham.’