The new chairman of Devon County Council aims to support young farmers, animal rescue and further links with the Royal Navy during his year in office.

Cllr Stuart Barker, the local member for Ashburton & Buckfastleigh, was unanimously elected as the new chairman of the council at last Thursday’s annual council meeting.

Cllr Barker was first elected to Devon County Council in 2001 and has held numerous roles including serving on the Social Services Scrutiny Committee, Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social care and as Cabinet Member for Resources Management, a role he stepped down from at the meeting.

South West Farmer:

After being sworn in, Councillor Barker said: “I am delighted to be appointed the new Chairman of Devon County Council. I’m looking forward to the job immensely and I hope I can do a good job for everybody.”

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As Chairman of the Council, Cllr Barker said he had several themes he wishes to support during his time in office, which include supporting young farmers and the County Show, animal rescue and furthering links with the Royal Navy.

He added: “My personal passion is sailing, and I’d want to support any organisations that support sailing for people with disabilities, particularly those that teach disadvantaged and vulnerable children to sail.”

His first job as the chairman was to proceed over Thursday’s annual council meeting, which was held virtually, and lasted for nearly five hours.

Cllr Jeff Trail, BEM, who represents Exmouth, was unanimously elected as the vice-chairman of the council. A retired Royal Marine Warrant Officer, Cllr Trail has a keen interest in the Military, and is a member of the DCC Veterans committee, the charity SSAFA and in his personal life is an active walker, has a passion for gardening and also enjoys course and sea fishing.