TAKING the reins of the Isle of Wight Council's busiest, and most crucial, meetings is a councillor who says he never sought the position — but is clear that more needs to be done to bring democracy back to the Island.

Succeeding George Cameron as Chairman of the council, Cllr Geoff Brodie took over the role on Wednesday night at the first meeting of the authority since the elections on May 6.

Beating new Tory Cllr Ray Redrup, in a 20 to 18 vote, Cllr Brodie said he was persuaded to take on the role by new council leader Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox as meetings needed 'as strong a chair as possible, given the delicate balance'.

The new Alliance Group (18 independents, Green Party and Our Island) councillors have come together to become the ruling party.

With the Conservatives also having 18 seats, three councillors who sit allied to their own political party (Labour, Lib Dem and Vectis), could swing any vote one way or another.

In the case of Wednesday night's full meeting, those councillors present chose to vote in line with the Alliance Group, installing new faces into the executive positions.

Cllr Brodie said those who had been in meetings with him in the past where he was chair, including at meetings of Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council, will know he is 'fairly knowledgable and tough'.

He said: "I see my role to enable and work with the administration, to re-democratise full council and the council overall.

"I wish to make the council far more open in its decision making, far more accountable to councillors and the wider Island public and more transparent than we have experienced in the last four years.

"In my experience, the last four years have been an extremely retrograde time for democracy on the Island.

"I was a councillor when David Pugh was leader and he was far more of a democrat than ex Cllr Dave Stewart.

"I think we really need to do some work to bring democracy back."

Cllr Brodie, a member of the Alliance Group while also an Independent Labour councillor, will take the lead on 'bringing back democracy', having been asked by Cllr Peacey-Wilcox.

He said: "I hope Islanders will be pleased with what we eventually propose and make it the Island’s council rather than a council for certain individuals."

Known for being one of the bigger voices in the council chambers, submitting multiple points of order, Cllr Brodie said it would be quite interesting to see if anybody takes his place as 'there would be nobody like me to challenge me.'