THE election of a new leader for Malvern Hills District Council sees the balance of power shift in the administration.

Cllr Tom Wells was chosen as leader at a meeting on May 10, with a delicate balancing act required with the different groups making up the council.

Currently there are 12 councillors in the new Democratic Independent Group, 12 Conservatives, four Greens, four Liberal Democrats, three in the Malvern Hills Independents and one in what was the Democratic Alliance.

As a result, there is still no clear majority on the council, with the council's committees now made up of members from each different group until the elections next year.

Conservative leader Jeremy Owenson said he and his fellow Tories would work with the new administration to keep things going in its final year.

He said: "The Conservatives have always prioritised residents over politics, and we welcome Tom Wells' statement that he intends to work with all Councillors going forward.

"With the significant delays to the SWDP, and the need to work together to save Malvern College, we will continue to do the right things for the district. 

"We hope that MHDC really delivers for the residents in the final council year." 

Cllr Wells pointed to the new chair and vice-chair of the council as evidence of the new way of working, with Independent Cllr John Michael taking the top job with Conservative Barbara Jones-Williams as deputy.

Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Bennett questioned whether councillors could truly represent their communities if they were paid for certain roles.