East Hampshire District Council has elected Whitehill, Hogmoor & Greatham councillor Adam Carew as its chairman for the coming year.

Cllr Carew replaces Cllr Keith Budden who spent two years in the role because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

While in office, the chairman – a non-political position – chairs EHDC’s full council meetings, supports local events and functions, raises money for charity and furthers the interests and reputation of the council.

Cllr Carew will also maintain links between the council and other organisations, both voluntary and commercial, and promote the district on visits elsewhere.

He said: “It is a great honour to represent the council as its chairman and I am thankful to my colleagues for giving me this opportunity.

“Obviously we all have to wait and see how the country will emerge from the pandemic and how quickly restrictions will be peeled back, but I am hopeful that I will soon be able to attend functions in person, meet our residents and do what I can to support the great communities of East Hampshire.”

Traditionally the chairman selects at least one local charity to support and will use the profile of the office to raise funds and attract publicity for those charities during the year.

Cllr Carew chose the Woolmer Forest Heritage Society, which is raising money towards a heritage centre for Whitehill & Bordon, and the Tree Council, to plant community orchards across the district.

Outgoing chairman Cllr Budden raised more than £2,000 for his charities, the Crossover Youth Centre in Liss and Dementia Friendly Hampshire.

At the same meeting Cllr Sally Pond was elected the council’s vice-chairman.

On stepping down, Cllr Budden said: “It has been an honour and privilege to be the first chairman of EHDC to serve for more than one year.

“The last 12 months have been like no other in the lifetimes of many of the residents of East Hampshire.

“I want to take a moment to record my pride in every one of my fellow EHDC councillors, Gill Kneller and the senior management team and every EHDC officer for the way we have all come together to serve the residents of East Hampshire through the Covid-19 pandemic.”