Hampshire County Council elects new Leader
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Hampshire County Council has elected Councillor Roy Perry as the new County Council Leader today (23 May 2013).
The Full Council met to formally establish the new administration, where Cllr Perry officially took up his new role.
It follows the County Council elections held on 2 May, and the announcement by former Leader, Councillor Ken Thornber, to step down as County Council Leader following 14 years in the post.
The meeting was the first of the new Council which comprises 78 seats, made up of 45 Conservative Party Members, 17 Liberal Democrats, ten UKIP Members, four Labour Party Members, one Independent and one Member from the Community Campaign (Hart).
The County Council Leader leads the authority in delivering the range of essential local services that impact on all aspects of everyday life for 1.3million people living in the Hampshire County Council area, from education, roads and social care, to access to the countryside, museums and libraries.
Commenting on his new appointment, Councillor Perry said: "I recognise this is a great honour to be elected Leader of one of the premier councils in the land and I pay full tribute to the achievements of my predecessor Ken Thornber who performed the role diligently for 14 years. My overriding objective will be, in the face of the difficult economic circumstances all councils face, 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 region with services amongst the best."
Councillor Perry graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Government and Politics, and was formerly a senior lecturer in Politics. He was elected to Test Valley Borough Council in 1979 and served as its Leader between 1985 and 1994.
For the following decade, Roy Perry was a Member of the European Parliament for the Wight and Hampshire South constituency and then the South East Region. In 2005, he returned to local government with election to Hampshire County Council. Prior to his appointment as County Council Leader, he held the position of Executive Lead Member for Children's Services and was formerly, Deputy Leader of the County Council (2008-2012).
He says one of his proudest achievements so far as a Hampshire councillor was helping establish the Hampshire Interfaith Network with the then Bishop of Southampton Rt Rev Paul Butler and becoming its first co-chairman with Peerjada Qureshi of the Winchester Muslim Cultural Association.
Roy Perry is a member of the LGA Children and Young Persons Board and Chairman of the consortium of South East Lead Members for Children's Services.
He is a Governor of King Edward VIth School in Southampton, and Church Warden in his local Parish Church of St Margaret's East Wellow.
Roy Perry is married with two daughters, one of whom, Caroline Nokes, is MP for Romsey and Southampton North and the other lives in the USA. He has three grandchildren who each in their own way keep his feet firmly on the ground.
Councillor Perry confirmed the Members of the new County Council Cabinet. These are:
Councillor Roy Perry Leader of Hampshire County Council
Councillor Keith Mans Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council
Cllr Mel Kendal
Cllr Stephen Reid
Cllr Anna McNair Scott
Cllr Liz Fairhurst
Cllr Peter Edgar
Cllr Andrew Joy
Cllr Keith Chapman
Cllr Seán Woodward
In addition, Cllr Andrew Gibson will serve as Assistant Executive Member to the Leader with a special responsibility for Business and Rural Economy.
The new Cabinet will meet for the first time on 24 June.