HAMPSHIRE County Council has appointed a new chairman, giving her a birthday to remember.

Councillor Elaine Still takes the mantle – which is a ceremonial role similar to that of a mayor –from councillor Graham Burgess.

The Loddon member was presented with the county’s livery collar as she celebrated her birthday on May 18.

Cllr Still said she would focus her year as chairman on promoting Hampshire’s countryside. Her love of the countryside is reflected in her theme of “All Things Healthy and Green; All Creatures Great and Small”.

“This is the year I would like to focus on looking after nature, so nature can look after us,” she said.

“Access to green space, rural and coastal environments has close links to physical health and mental wellbeing; and Hampshire enjoys some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the country.”

In her role as chairman, Cllr Still will represent the council on royal visits and ceremonial occasions in the county as well as carry out other civic activities and duties.

Councillor Charles Choudhary (Aldershot North) was elected vice-chairman.

Outgoing chairman, Cllr Graham Burgess said: “This past year has been extraordinary. It has been an enormous privilege for me to represent you and it has been an honour to broadcast the Hampshire message.

“A highlight for me was being able to watch the magnificent performance of 1,700 exceptionally talented Hampshire musicians and dancers from the Royal Box.

“Being able to go on stage to thank everyone for all their efforts is a memory I will always treasure.”