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Meet Your New Council

25 May 2023

South Hams Full Council Group Photo

We have announced our new Council structure for the next four-year term at our Annual Council meeting which took place today, 25 May 2023. 

Cllr Julian Brazil, Ward Member for Stokenham, has been named as Leader, with Cllr Dan Thomas, Ward Member for Newton and Yealmpton, chosen as his Deputy Leader.

Cllr Julian Brazil, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "I'm very excited to be elected as the new Leader, it's a real honour. I'm also really excited about delivering our manifesto and our plans for the District Council.

"We intend to be an inclusive Council and not worry about people's political allegiances; we're interested in people who want to work for their communities. We will be stronger together and therefore we will be asking all councillors, from all parties to work with us to deliver what our communities want.

"Our top priority is going to be local housing. It's a massive issue for many people in the South Hams and that has a knock-on effect to our businesses, schools and hospitals. Keyworkers and carers can't afford to live here, so that's a massive area that we need to do something about and try to deliver.

"The other area of course, is the environment and the biodiversity crisis. This will take time and we will need to review our Joint Local Plan, but we will be looking to produce zero carbon houses and we will be looking to enhance and increase biodiversity at every opportunity.

"Finally, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Judy Pearce, who despite our political differences we had many of the same aims. She achieved a lot and many of the plans and processes she put in place, we will continue. So, thank you to her and thank you to all of the other councillors who worked hard for their communities.

"Exciting times ahead!"

The Chairman announced for the coming year will be Cllr Guy Pannell, Ward Member for South Brent. Cllr Pannell accepted the chain of office from the outgoing Chairman, Cllr Lance Austen.

An active member of his local community, Cllr Pannell, said: "I feel greatly privileged to be invited to perform the role of Civic leader of South Hams District Council for the coming year. It's an honour I certainly didn't anticipate when my wife, Cathie, and I arrived to live in the South Hams more than 50 years ago.

"With so many new members of the Council on all sides after the recent election I feel we are in for an exciting and stimulating year. I am sure we will all want to work in the best interest of the South Hams and our residents, and I will do my best to foster a spirit of cooperation, albeit with some lively political debate.

"I've chosen the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as my chosen charity for my year of office. I appreciate the great service the RNLI provides to the South Hams, with lifeboat stations at Salcombe and Dartmouth, and lifeguards on our beaches to help keep us and our visitors safe."

Cllr Bernard Taylor, Ward Member for Charterlands, was appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Council.

The following committee positions were also confirmed during the meeting.


  • Cllr J Brazil - Leader
  • Cllr D Thomas - Deputy
  • Cllr J McKay
  • Cllr J Birch
  • Cllr D O'Callaghan
  • Cllr V Abbott
  • Cllr J Hodgson
  • Cllr N Hopwood

Audit Committee

  • Cllr L Bonham - Chairman
  • Cllr A Nix - Vice Chairman

Development Management Committee

  • Cllr M Long - Chairman
  • Cllr B Taylor - Vice Chairman

Licensing Committee

  • Cllr S Rake - Chairman
  • Cllr J Carson - Vice Chairman

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

  • Cllr J Hawkins - Chairman
  • Cllr B Cooper - Vice Chairman

Salcombe Harbour Board

  • Appointment to follow

To watch the Annual Council as it happened and to see all the appointments made during this meeting, go to:


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