New Hampshire County Council leader will look again at spending cuts plan for tips, libraries and school crossing patrols

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Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Nick Adams-King
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Nick Adams-King

The new leader of Hampshire County Council is promising to work “tirelessly” to overcome the challenges and create an “efficient, caring, innovative, and business-friendly” administration.

Councillor Nick Adams-King also said that regarding the recent public consultation which garnered residents’ views on cuts to services such as tips, libraries and school crossing patrols, Councillor Adams-King told residents: “We have heard you, and we will be acting on the items that you ask us to look at.”

Councillor Nick Adams-King was elected the new leader of the council earlier today with the support of its parties, the Conservatives, the Labour Group, the Green Party, and the Independents.

Councillor Adams-King, a chartered surveyor by profession, represents the county council division of Romsey Rural. He has been in politics since 2005, when he was first elected as a Bournemouth borough councillor.

He lives in rural Hampshire with his husband, James, a consultant at Southampton General Hospital specialising in geriatrics, and two children. 

At the county council’s annual general meeting (AGM), he committed to “working tirelessly” to overcome the challenges the council is facing in collaboration with the opposition, which, he said, has the role of “challenging us”.

Speaking about those financial challenges, where the council has to fill a £132 million budget shortfall by April 2025, he said that the council would continue to find “innovative” ways to “better serve” residents.

“We must continue to innovate and find new ways of working to better serve Hampshire’s 1.4 million residents, making their lives better, their journeys safer, and ensuring they receive the help they need when they need it.”

He added: “I’m optimistic and I’m optimistic about the future of HCC. Under my leadership, we will strive for an efficient, caring, innovative and business-friendly council. We will care for our environment, tackle climate change, and promote the work we do to protect our most vulnerable residents.

 “I will always remember that it is your money we spend. To our business, I promise we will support you and recognise you as the backbone of our county. To the most vulnerable accessing our social care and to those young people in our care, we will continue to protect you all.”

Councillors paid tribute to former councillors Hugh Lumby, who left in March due to medical reasons, and Sean Woodward, as well as Councillor Rob Humby, now the former leader of the county council, who was not present at the AGM.

The new HCC chairman, Councillor Keith Mans, thanked Councillor Humby for his leadership during “hard times.” In the same line, the leader said that Councillor Humby stood down from the council, “knowing he has changed the council for the better, we owe him a huge thanks”.

Councillor Adams-King outlined changes to portfolio responsibilities at a council meeting on earlier today.

Four changes to the executive were announced, with Councillor Jan Warwick, Councillor Zoe Huggins, Councillor Roz Chadd and Councillor Lulu Bowerman joining and Councillor Edward Heron and Councillor Russell Oppenheimer no longer part of the cabinet.

Councillor Jan Warwick is the new deputy leader and continues holding the portfolio of younger adults and health and wellbeing.

Two new portfolios were created, with Councillor Bowerman holding highways and waste and Councillor Huggins holding Hampshire 2050 (Climate Change, Culture and Partnerships) and HR, communications, and performance.

Councillor Roz Chadd will be responsible for children’s services. Councillor Kirsty North will take on universal services. Councillor Fairhurst and Councillor Forster will continue holding their cabinets, adult social care and public health and education, respectively.

With the changes, a majority of six women now hold cabinet positions.

The new Conservative cabinet and their respective portfolios are:

  • Councillor Nick Adams-King – Leader and executive member for Hampshire 2050 and Corporate Services
  • Councillor Jan Warwick – Deputy Leader and executive member for younger adults and health and wellbeing
  • Councillor Liz Fairhurst – executive member of adult social care and public health
  • Councillor Zoe Huggins – executive member for Hampshire 2050 (Climate Change, Culture and Partnerships) and HR, communications and performance
  • Councillor Roz Chadd – executive member for children’s services
  • Councillor Steve Forster – executive member for education
  • Councillor Kirsty North – executive member for universal services
  • Councillor Lulu Bowerman – executive member for highways and waste

The council is now made up of 52 Conservatives, 18 Liberal Democrats, three Labour, two Independents, one Whitehill and Bordon Community Party, one Green, and one unaffiliated.

Members of the Hampshire County Council Cabinet (L-R back row - Cllr Roz Chadd, Cllr Lulu Bowerman, Cllr Zoe Huggins, Cllr Kirsty North. L-R middle row - Cllr Steve Forster, Cllr Liz Fairhurst. L-R front row - Cllr Jan Warwick, Cllr Nick Adams-King)
Members of the Hampshire County Council Cabinet (L-R back row – Councillor Roz Chadd, Councillor Lulu Bowerman, Councillor Zoe Huggins, Councillor Kirsty North. L-R middle row – Councillor Steve Forster, Councillor Liz Fairhurst. L-R front row – Councillor Jan Warwick, Councillor Nick Adams-King)
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