New council leadership for Eastbourne

Eastbourne Borough Council has a new Council Leader and Cabinet following the local elections on May 4.

At a meeting of Annual Council (May 24), Councillor Stephen Holt was confirmed as the new Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council and Councillor Margaret Bannister as Deputy Leader.

Councillor Holt was first elected in 2015 and since 2020 has been Deputy Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council.

The local elections saw the Liberal Democrats increase their number of seats to 19. The Conservatives now have eight seats.    

Councillor Stephen Holt said:

“It is an absolute privilege to be appointed Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council. To be given the opportunity to lead the council of such a wonderful town is an honour that I do not take lightly.

“I am also delighted that Margaret Bannister is the Deputy Leader and can't wait to start working with her in this new role. Margaret has many years of experience as a Cabinet councillor and knows Eastbourne and the town’s residents better than anyone.”

Councillor Holt’s first Cabinet is as follows:

  • Councillor Stephen Holt, Leader of the Council - Community Strategy, Local Strategic Partnership, Corporate Plan, Performance and Staff 
  • Deputy Leader: Councillor Margaret Bannister, Deputy Leader of the Council - Tourism, Leisure, Accessibility and Community Safety
  • Councillor Robin Maxted – Finance and Resources 
  • Councillor Jim Murray – Carbon Neutral 2030 
  • Councillor Colin Swansborough – Enterprise, Community Spaces and Heritage Assets 
  • Councillor Peter Diplock – Housing and Planning


Councillor Candy Vaughan was unanimously elected as the new Mayor of Eastbourne and Councillor Amanda Morris was elected as Deputy Mayor.

In his speech proposing Councillor Vaughan as Mayor, Councillor Alan Shuttleworth paid tribute to the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Pat Rodohan and his wife, Barbara. 

The new Mayor’s charities are A Band of Brothers and the Old Bank Wellbeing Trust.