Councillors providing advice and research for Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) have been reappointed to their role on the council.

TVBC re-appointed those acting as its member champions, who advise the cabinet on issues including the armed forces, the climate emergency and voluntary work, to their roles following a vote at the cabinet.

Cllr Phil North, addressing the cabinet, described their work as “valuable” to advising the group.

Member champions were introduced by the council in 2017 to advise the cabinet, which makes overall leadership decisions for TVBC, on certain issues they had experience in.

Each year, member champions are appointed to research good practice on their area of expertise, as well as liaise with groups within the borough and elsewhere.

At a meeting of TVBC’s cabinet on Wednesday, May 27, councillors currently in the roles were re-appointed. This included Cllr Neil Gwynne, who was appointed to the role of climate emergency champion in January this year, being the newest champion role appointed.

Meanwhile, Cllr Nick Matthews, as armed forces champion, carried out a review of the commitment of TVBC to the armed forces covenant, and set up a new forum aimed at improving links between civilians and the military.

Other champions include Cllr Iris Andersen, voluntary and third sector champion, as well as Cllr Karen Hamilton as equality and diversity champion.

Addressing the meeting, Cllr Phil North said: “Over the last few years, the champions have been involved in a number of projects and have provided valuable research and insight into working practices. This year has been a particularly difficult year but they have continued to work actively in their respective areas wherever possible liaising with the community, our partners and other stakeholders.”

Cllr Nick Adams-King echoed his words, saying: “Although it’s been a difficult year for us all, our colleagues as member champions have done fantastic work. Nick Matthews has authored the armed forces review and carried out a lot of work establishing the forum.”

He added, jokingly: “I will be in contact with Cllr Hamilton to ensure we have two pride flags because we only had one last time!”

The motion was then passed by the cabinet.