COUNCILLOR Clive Sanders will remain as the leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council after councillors voted in favour of him retaining his position tonight.

Cllr Sanders retained his position as leader of the administration after the borough’s Tory party group leader, Cllr Terri Reid nominated him to be re-elected as the borough council leader at the first full council meeting since the local elections on May 22.

Deputy leader of the borough council, Cllr Ranil Jayawardena seconded the motion to choose Cllr Sanders as the borough council leader for the next four years.

As previously reported by The Gazette, the Tories lost their majority control over Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council at the May 22 local elections after losing one seat, bringing their total number of councillors to 29.

But following a meeting last Tuesday, the Conservative group favoured the option of carrying on as a minority administration.

Cllr Clive Sanders, who has been the leader of the borough council since February 2012, told the meeting: “Thank you to all members for your support. I do recognise that I shall be leading a minority administration and I understand the need for co-operation.

“I have always had just one simple objective in becoming a councillor and becoming the leader, and that is to make the borough a better place to live and that is something we all share.

“I think we stand on the brink of a fantastic time of opportunity that will lay the foundation for long term success if we have the vision, courage and determination to make the most of the possibilities before us for the future.”

He added: “Inevitably we are going to disagree with some aspects and everyone is entitled to be wrong sometimes but we need to listen to one another and we need to agree rather than fight.

“I hope that whatever has gone on before, we can cease questioning the integrity of other members, no matter what group they are from.

“I will endeavour to lead this council in that spirit and I hope that you all feel you can join in supporting that objective.”

After Cllr Sanders was re-elected as the leader of the borough council, he announced the councillors who will sit on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s cabinet following a small reshuffle.

The leader will remain as the cabinet member for economic development and deputy leader, Cllr Ranil Jayawardena will also return as the cabinet member for strategy and community safety.

Cllr Hayley Eachus returns as the cabinet member for community services and in addition to her current portfolio, Cllr Eachus will now take responsibility for the environment following the decision by former cabinet member for environment and climate change, Robert Donnell not to stand for re-election on May 22.

Cllr John Izett, cabinet member for property, finance and commissioning, Cllr Cathy Osselton, cabinet member for partnerships and Cllr Mark Ruffell, cabinet member for planning and infrastructure all return.

However, Conservative group leader, Terri Reid will now join the cabinet after Cllr Rob Golding decided not to return as the cabinet member for housing and regeneration.

Cllr Reid told The Gazette: “It is exciting and I am looking forward to it. The areas I am interested in is housing, regeneration and the Top of The Town.

“I have got a particular interest in the Top of The Town because in the past I have developed a walking tour through the Top of The Town for schools so I feel there is an enormous potential there.”