THE new leader of Hampshire County Council set out his stall yesterday, saying ongoing prosperity for the area was at the top of his agenda.
Cllr Roy Perry took over as leader earlier this month, following Cllr Ken Thornber’s resignation after 14 years.
Speaking at a full council held to formally establish the new administration, he said: ‘This is a great honour to be elected leader of one of the premier councils.’
‘I pay full tribute to the achievements of my predecessor, who performed the role diligently for 14 years.
‘My overriding objective will be, in the face of the difficult economic circumstances, to maintain Hampshire as a successful and prosperous county, balancing economic success with care for the environment.
‘I will seek to maintain our council tax as the lowest of any county in the south east with services among the best.’
The meeting was the first of the new council, which comprises 78 seats, made up of 45 Conservatives, 17 Lib Dems, 10 UKIP, four Labour, one Independent and one from the Community Campaign.
Councillor Keith Mans was announced as deputy leader.
The members of the new cabinet were confirmed as Cllr Mel Kendal, Cllr Stephen Reid, Cllr Anna McNair Scott, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Cllr Peter Edgar, Cllr Andrew Joy, Cllr Keith Chapman and Cllr Sean Woodward. In addition, Cllr Andrew Gibson will serve as assistant executive member to the leader with a special responsibility for business and rural economy.
Leader of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Woodward was confirmed as executive member for economy, transport and environment.
He said: ‘I’m delighted. It’s a big role and a big challenge and it’s one of the most important in Hampshire.’
Alverstoke ward Cllr Edgar was made executive member for education.
He said: ‘The job is a massive challenge but being a former teacher I’m up for it.’
The cabinet meets for the first time on Friday, June 24.