The leader of Hampshire County Council and a new cabinet have been appointed.
Councillor Keith Mans has been confirmed as the leader of the county council. It comes as the Conservatives retained control of the council in this year’s local elections. At the Annual General Meeting held at the Ageas Bowl this morning Councillor Mans also announced his new cabinet.
Councillor Rob Humby has been confirmed as deputy leader and cabinet member for transport, economy and environment. Also confirmed as cabinet members were Councillor Steve Reid (performance, human resources, partnerships); Councillor Roz Chad (children’s services); Councillor Edward Heron (recreation, heritage, rural affairs) and Councillor Liz Fairhurst, who will continue to be the cabinet member for adult services but will now also add public health to her portfolio.
It comes as former cabinet member for health Judith Grajewski lost her seat in this month’s elections. Meanwhile, newly appointed cabinet members are Councillor Russell Oppenheimer ( highways operations), Councillor Jan Warwick (climate change and sustainability) and Councillor Steve Forster (commercial strategy, estates and property).
Speaking at today’s meeting Councillor Mans said: “It is an honour to serve the county in this privileged position and I would like to continue to carry out to the best of my ability. I will work to ensure the highest outcome for all residents across this wonderful county. I would like to thank all Hampshire residents for continuing to put their trust in the Conservative group, for supporting us through another successful election victory.”
But he said the government needs to “sort out” adult social care and business rate. Councillor Mans added: “If we are going to secure our finances in the future, present government needs to sort out social services. Our ability to provide services to the people of Hampshire to a large extend depends upon social services for the young and the old being sorted out.”
He also said pledged to tackle climate change. Councillor Melville Kendal was nominated chairman of the council while Councillor Marge Harvey was nominated vice-chair. During the meeting several councillors also thanked retiring chief executive John Coughlan CBE. Mr Coughlan said working for the county council is a “tremendous privilege” and he praised the work done by councillors and staff.
Following the latest elections, the political make-up of the county council is: Conservatives (56 seats); Liberal Democrats (17); Labour (3); Whitehill & Bordon Community Party (1); Independent (1).