THE new leader of Hampshire County Council has been revealed.

Cllr Keith Mans, current deputy leader and executive lead member for children’s services is set to become the new leader of the county council, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) can reveal.

The news comes after current leader Roy Perry said he will step down on May 17. 

An official announcement  is expected to be made at the annual general meeting that will take place at the county council in Winchester on May 17 at 10am.

But today it has been confirmed that Hampshire County Council Conservatives Group have elected Cllr Mans as their new group leader, meaning he is now predicted to be elected as leader of the county council next week, given the Conservatives majority on the county council of 56 Conservatives to 19 Liberal Democrats and two Labour.

Cllr Mans represents the Brockenhurst division on Hampshire County Council ( HCC) and had previously represented Lyndhurst.

He was an MP for Wyre  in Lancashire between 1987 and 1997 and PPS to the Secretary of State for Health.

He previously served as an RAF officer and then became a senior executive with the John Lewis Group.

Cllr Perry welcomed the news and said: “I congratulate Keith on his election as group leader and he will have my full support. He brings significant experience to the role of leader of the county not least having been an MP. Making sure that Hampshire’s voice is heard in Westminster and Whitehall is one of the key roles of a county leader and Keith will be excellent in that role.”

As reported, Cllr Perry will step down from his position after six years at the helm.

He said he will continue as county councillor for Romsey Rural and as chairman of South East Councils,  which is the all tier grouping of local councils  in the south east from Kent to Hampshire and up to Oxfordshire.

He added: “I will look forward to having a little more time to relax. It has been a seven day a week role which I have relished but time comes to take things a bit easier. At South East England Councils I will keep reminding the Government that the south east is one of just three regions that makes a positive contribution to the national exchequer.”

Cllr Perry was first elected as a councillor in June 1970 to represent Chandlers Ford on Eastleigh Borough Council. He then stood as a parish councillor in Wellow, as well as a borough councillor and also leader of Test Valley Borough Council. He also represented the region as a Member of the European Parliament between 1994 and 2004.