EAST Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has appointed Anthony Williams as chairman for the coming year.

Mr Williams, who has been a ward councillor for Headley for 21 years, was elected to the position at EHDC’s meeting last month.

He takes on the role after spending a year as vice-chairman and replaces previous incumbent Lynn Evans.

EHDC also elected Richard Millard to continue as leader with Julie Butler as deputy leader.

Mr Williams said: “This is a role I am really looking forward to. I have some big shoes to fill as we have had some very eminent councillors who have been chairman in the past, and I will do my very best to follow their lead and emulate their achievements.

“As chairman, I am eager to meet people throughout the year, including individuals, businesses and particularly the charities and voluntary organisations with whom we already have enormously rewarding relationships.

“In August, the district hosts the annual Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, held at East Worldham, and I will have the honour of welcoming the delegates, and their leader, to East Hampshire for this important gathering.”

He added: “I am fortunate to be in office during the continuing regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon, which sees an increasing number of new homes constructed and sold, together with the construction of the new Mill Chase Academy, the sports centre and the long-awaited retail centre, restaurants and entertainment facilities, as well as training and employment sites.

“I am excited to have the chance to show these current and future developments to my fellow Hampshire mayors and chairmen during the year.”

Keith Budden was appointed the council’s new vice-chairman.