Councillor Keith House has been re-elected as the Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council during the Council’s Annual General Meeting which was chaired by the newly elected Mayor, Cllr Bruce Tennent. The Liberal Democrat takes the top job for the twenty-fifth consecutive year after leading his party to an emphatic win in the recent Local Elections where he faced down rebels from his own party to win in every ward in the Borough except two – and increased his overall majority.
The vote was unopposed except for the two newly-elected Independents who abstained and the Conservative group who took no part in the show of hands which lead Cllr House to quip:
“I abstained from the vote for the Leader, so we have demonstrated that at least once in this council’s life; that the Independent group and the Council Leader will vote for the same thing even if the Conservative group abstained from abstaining.”
Cllr House also thanked all the retiring and unseated former Lib Dem and Conservative councillors for their service to the Borough – but he did not mention the retiring and defeated Independents who had defected from his party in the last 12 months – this was remedied by the Leader of the Independent Group Cllr Lou Parker-Jones.
The Conservative Group Leader Cllr Judith Grajewski extended the thanks of her group to the all Council Officers who had worked on the Election, both on polling day and throughout the campaign.
Public participation is a chance for the members of the public to highlight issues or ask questions but with only one member of the public present in the gallery, there were no public speakers on this occasion.
The next meeting of the full council will be at 7pm on the 19 July at the King’s Community Church, Hedge End.
A note on Eastleigh Borough Council’s executive arrangements.
In 2010, following a public consultation, Eastleigh Council adopted a ‘Leader and Cabinet’ style of governance in which a Leader is elected annually by all the members and he or she in turn appoints between 2 – 9 members to his/her cabinet to portfolios of the Leaders choice. The Cabinet can take executive decisions that are then passed to full council for noting only.