CONSERVATIVES have taken the chair and vice chair positions of BCP Council’s corporate and community overview and scrutiny committee – roles previously held by minority group councillors.

Former Bournemouth mayor Lawrence Williams will now head the committee with Roberto Rocca as vice chair, both elected by a 6-5 vote, beating independent Steve Bartlett who chaired the overview and scrutiny board for 18 months and vice chair Lib Dem candidate Marcus Andrews, Bearwood and Merley.

Councillor Williams, who represents Littledown and Iford,  has been a local councillor since 2011, initially with Bournemouth Borough Council where he was a cabinet member for seven years. He was town mayor in 2017-18.

Councillor Rocca, East Cliff and Springbourne, described himself as a first-time BCP councillor with experience of chairing meetings in his work and community roles. He said he had 14 years experience as a councillor in Milan prior to moving to Dorset.

Councillor Bartlett, Redhill and Northbourne, told the meeting that his time as chair had been challenging, but he had always tried to maintain a fair and balanced position and move the committee more towards overview.