Voters in Hampshire have elected the first Green councillor to sit on Hampshire County Council.

Malcolm Wallace, 48, will represent the people of the Meon Valley, following a by-election held after the resignation of Conservative Hugh Lumby for health reasons.

Cllr Wallace, who has been a Winchester city councillor since 2022, said: “I’m very excited. I’m honoured to have been elected. I’ve been very proud to represent the Meon Valley and now I’ve got the opportunity to do that at county as well.”

He lives in Swanmore near Bishop's Waltham and said he believes his election is part of a wider phenomenon across the country in which people are appreciative of the unique voice of the Greens.

SEE ALSO: Lib Dems reign supreme as Conservatives lose four seats on Winchester City Council

Hampshire Chronicle: Malcolm Wallace has been elected as the first Green to ever sit on Hampshire County Council.Malcolm Wallace has been elected as the first Green to ever sit on Hampshire County Council. (Image: Contributed)

Cllr Wallace said: “I think a lot of people are disappointed with what we’re seeing in politics at the moment, so that’s one side of it, but I think the other side is people excited by what the Greens bring - the difference it makes.

“The Greens have grown massively over the past few years. Every local election — I think the last four or five local elections — the Greens have set new records in the number of councillors who have been elected. I know we’re up to over 800 now, which is a massive achievement and there’s no sign of it stopping.”

Elected on to Winchester City Council to represent Central Meon Valley in 2022, he said he wants to ensure that green initiatives at Hampshire County Council do not remain empty words and translate to action.

He said: “One thing I’ve learned from my first couple of years as a district councillor is there’s a lot of greenwash to cut through. There’s a lot of people who talk green and action doesn’t always follow. To protect the long term, we need to protect our environment, our landscape.

“That doesn’t mean big scary things, it means making sure we’re protecting our rivers, protecting our waterways, ensuring nature has an opportunity to grow, but doing it in a sensible way.

“If we do things in the right way, then we can make real big changes.”

Malcom secured 2,083 votes, 36 per cent of the vote. He was up against longstanding Lib Dem Vivian Achwal, who was only 177 votes behind on 1,906, or 33 per cent of the vote.

Despite disappointment in the county council byelection, Vivian, who lives in Whiteley, won her local seat of Whiteley and Shedfield on Winchester City Council with 1,112  votes, the closest to her was Tory Marcus Garth on 480 votes. 

Cllr Achwal said she does not believe parties always play as large a role in local politics and voter behaviour can also be a factor in outcomes.

She said: “I think sometimes it’s more of a personal vote. Maybe where [Malcolm] lives you got more people coming out to vote. In Whiteley, we have quite a new area in North Whiteley. A lot of those people don’t come out to vote. They’re a bit disillusioned, I think, with everything.”

Also contending for the county council Meon Valley seat was Conservative Neil Bolton who came in third place with 1,630 votes, or 28 per cent. Fourth was Oliver Hirsch for Labour with 199 votes. Overall turnout for the vote was 40 per cent and the result was announced yesterday evening, Friday, May 3.