GREEN and independent councillors are once again in charge of the key decisions at Malvern Hills District Council.

No party or group won enough seats in the local elections earlier this month to take overall control of the council.

But Tom Wells, the independent councillor for Powick and the Hanleys, was re-elected as leader at last night’s (Tuesday, May 23) annual council meeting.

Cllr Wells is also the portfolio holder for community services.

Malvern Gazette:  New chairman Barbara Jones-Williams and vice chairman Daniel Walton New chairman Barbara Jones-Williams and vice chairman Daniel Walton (Image: MHDC)

Green councillor Natalie McVey, who represents the West ward, is again deputy leader and the portfolio holder for housing and health.

The other portfolio holders are all either independent or Green councillors.

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David Harrison is the portfolio holder for planning, infrastructure and flooding, Beverley Neilsen takes economic development and tourism, John Raine will look after environmental services and John Gallagher resources.

Barbara Jones-Williams, the Conservative councillor for Martley, was elected as chairman, with former chairman John Michael passing over the ceremonial chains during Tuesday’s meeting.

Malvern Gazette: The handover from former chairman John Michael to Barbara Jones-WilliamsThe handover from former chairman John Michael to Barbara Jones-Williams (Image: MHDC)

Daniel Walton, the independent councillor for Broadheath, was elected as vice chairman.

Cllr Wells said: “It is a real privilege to serve the people of our towns and villages.

“It is vital that the council listens to the views of local residents and that is why I shall immediately set up my Talk to Tom Leader’s Surgeries again.”

Cllr Neilsen took to Twitter to describe the meeting as an “endorsement of the independent-Green alliance running Malvern Hills District Council”.

Following the Local Government Boundary Review, 31 seats were up for election to represent 18 district wards across Malvern Hills.

The political balance now stands as 11 independents, seven Green, seven Conservatives, three Liberal Democrats and three Malvern Hills Independents.

You can visit for more information about the councillors at Malvern Hills District Council.

Outside Tuesday’s meeting, a large group of residents gathered in support of Malvern Hills College.

A campaign to save the former arts college is under threat after losing one of its major funders this week.