THE DISTRICT’S second longest serving councillor was taken by surprise last week when she was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Horsham District Council chairman Claire Vickers.
Liz Kitchen (Con, Rusper and Colgate) was honoured for 25 years of service at the full council meeting on Wednesday.
Mrs Kitchen, who was first elected in 1987, was leader of the council at the time the Queen visited in 2003 and has also served as chairman.
As she received the bouquet she said: “I had absolutely no idea about this.
“I have enjoyed the large majority of it, even when the Liberal Democrats were in control. That was a very interesting time.”
After the meeting she added: “I think the worst decision I had to make was when the Liberal Democrats took control and they invited me to be chairman and I refused.
“It was a difficult decision and it wasn’t personal, but how can you be representing the council with a different political party in power.
“One of the things I will always remember was coming home from an official dinner at Goodwood with the previous chief executive in the freezing cold, the night before the Queen came to Horsham.
“We went to The Forum to check if it was ready and it wasn’t. There were people polishing the sundial and people with bare feet cleaning the steps.
“It’s all been exciting to be a part of.”