Leaders of parties on the new Dorset Council apart for the ruling Conservative group have been chosen.

As reported, the leader of the new authority is expected to be Cllr Spencer Flower, and he will be voted in at the first full council meeting, this coming Thursday, May 16.

The Conservatives have a majority – just – on the new Dorset Council with 43 seats. The Liberal Democrats have 29, Greens have 4, Independents 4 and Labour 2.

At their first meeting following the local elections on May 2, members of the Liberal Democrat group have re-elected Cllr Nick Ireland to lead them.

Cllr Ireland said: “I’m pleased and proud to have been elected to lead the substantial Liberal Democrat group on Dorset Council and look forward to working with the other opposition parties to ensure that not only are our existing services protected, but also improved and extended where possible.

"Cllr Flower has stated his intention to work ‘together as a team’; with 48 per cent of the councillors and a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience, I’m sure I echo the sentiment of the leaders of all the opposition groups in trusting that he will follow through on that pledge for the benefit of all our residents.”

Cllr Clare Sutton will lead the Green group.

She said: “Although we are relatively small, it is a privilege to lead such a talented and committed group of individuals. Jon Orrell, Brian Heatley, Kelvin Clayton and I will be working as a close-knit team, and of course with other councillors, to make Dorset a greener, healthier and more prosperous place.”

Cllr Les Fry, a former police inspector, will lead the Alliance for Local Living group (ALL).

He said: “Although we only won four seats, we bring a range of experiences in our previous roles to the council. We are keen and determined to help make a positive difference to the county and its residents.

"For me personally, this is my first foray in politics. I am looking forward to this new challenge."

Cllr Paul Kimber will lead the Labour group.

He said: “I, along with Cllr Kate Wheller, will work hard to represent the many people that voted for us. We are both very humbled to be elected to the new Dorset Council."