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Keith Mitchell, Conservative leader of Oxfordshire CC, was re-elected unanimously as chairman of the South East Eng...
Keith Mitchell, Conservative leader of Oxfordshire CC, was re-elected unanimously as chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly at its annual meeting in Hove this week.

Mr Mitchell took on the role last year, during which the Assembly finalised the draft South East Plan, a 20-year planning vision for the south east. Assembly members congratulated him on the Assembly's achievements, particularly his contribution to partnership working across the political groups and stakeholder members.

Don Turner, Labour, from Brighton and Hove City Council, was re-elected as deputy chairman of the Assembly for the fourth consecutive year. Mr Turner sits on the Assembly's executive committee and the regional housing board.

Louise Bloom, Liberal Democrat, from Eastleigh Borough Council, becomes an Assembly vice-chair for the first time. She replaces Cec Tallack (Liberal Democrats, Milton Keynes) who stood down as vice-chair after three years.

Ian Chisnall, representing social and environmental partners, Councillor Alan Hopkins, representing other parties, and Douglas Horner, representing economic partners, remain Assembly vice-chairs.

The Assembly's annual report, launched at the meeting, highlights key achievements for 2005-06, including:

- The submission of the draft South East Plan to government

- The most extensive regional planning consultation ever held in the country, achieving more than 95,000 responses to the South East Plan

- An extensive research programme to support the South East Plan's evidence base

- Prioritising transport schemes for the region through the Regional Transport Board

- Making the case to government for more infrastructure investment in the region through the Regional Funding Allocations advice and January's South East Conference, organised with SEEDA

- An Assembly-backed campaign for fairer funding for local government

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